Friday, April 17, 2009

HHR Nonprofit Spotlight

The O.K. Program is a mentor program, which fosters partnerships between police agencies, schools, students, community members, and the business and faith community to provide positive guidance and support to African American males 12-18 years old.

The primary goal of the program is to reduce the high rates of incarceration and homicide of young African American males by guiding them away from prison and towards college, military service, vocational training, and a life of responsible citizenship.

Under the guidance of an African American police officer, the program organizes responsible African American adult males to serve as positive role models and mentors for their younger counterparts. The adults in the program are called TEAMMATES, because the O.K. Program is based on a team-mentoring concept. Each teammate is importance to the team’s success. This concept provides the organizational structure necessary to allow teammates an opportunity to address specific issues, as identified in the program goals, which contribute to the high rates of incarceration and homicide of African American males.

School administrators and teachers play a critical role in the O.K. Program. Together, administrators and teachers provide a level of support to O.K. Program coordinators and students that are necessary for the program to be successful. This support encourages O.K. Students to excel and achieve a high level of academic excellence. Students in the program receive awards for their efforts, achievements and successes. Also, an incremental reward system is an important component for the O.K. Program. Every Saturday, KIC’IT (Kids Interacting Communicating Immix Teammates) Sessions brings together O.K. Program coordinators and teammates to tutor and share life experiences with young African American males. During KIC’IT Session, students learn that they are responsible for their future. They also learn that they must always strive for excellence, compete for the best grades, be respectful, seek to make positive contributions to their families and communities, and are taught how to interact with police when contacted by an officer.

1 comment:

nadraenzi said...

"Brothers and Badges" programs like these are what will eventually bridge the deadly divide between our youth; their potential and, on the streets and elsewhere, law enforcement.