THE YUNION wrote -
I’d like to introduce you to “Dee”. Dee is a wide-eyed fifth grader with a witty sense of humor and a brilliant smile. He attends The Yunion’s Cave of Adullam (the Cave) male mentoring program, where he meets twice a week, excited to learn what he calls “kung fu” moves and spend time with his “Cave brothers”. The Cave is a safe place for Dee. If you were to look at his big smile and boisterous laugh, it would be hard to conceive that he walks to the Cave from his fourth homeless shelter in the past three months. You couldn’t visibly discern that his heart aches from his father’s absence and his unstable family environment. Nor would you know that as a result, his grades had declined, he was diagnosed with ADHD, and was on the verge of getting expelled from school. Through the introspective martial art Mūsar Rū, young men ages 6-16 are taught and transformed through male character strengthening principles and spiritual disciplines. In the Cave, Dee and numerous boys like him, are introduced to the root of their unhealthy emotions and are taught how to confront and conquer them with composure in their day-to-day lives. Targeting issues such as unresolved anger, ADHD symptoms, bullying, and fear of failure.
Now Dee’s teachers and the administrative staff at his school report that they have seen a total "180" in Dee’s behavior and focus! The smile that drew their hearts to him has finally returned, he strives again to remain focused and he hasn't gotten into any altercations this year! His father now comes faithfully to the Cave to watch Dee grow mentally, spiritually and physically. Dee now has hope, however this hope is not based in wishing or dreaming, but is rooted in a TANGIBLE TRANSFORMATION that Dee, his family and school has seen.
The Cave has produced real, tangible results in improving the lives of its nearly 150 participants! 80% of male youth participants improved their school-based behavioral honor level from three to one (three being the lowest, one being the highest) and all program participants either maintained satisfactory GPA levels or increased low GPA levels by at least one full letter grade. Participants also showed decreased school suspensions and truancy according to school disciplinary and attendance records. The Cave needs your help to sustain and expand its' progress in the lives of African American young men! As a Black Male Achievement member, The Yunion is eligible to receive up to $10,000 in a matching funds grant from The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. That means that we need your generous support in raising $10,000 or more to reach our fundraising goal!
Funds will be used to pay for three essential areas of programmatic need:
• Scholarships for students in need like “Dee”
• New training equipment (safety gear, uniforms, journals, teaching aides, etc.)
• Transportation for our students to and from Cave programming
• Annual five-day retreat, held in 2016 in Northern Michigan, to encourage camaraderie, and enhance spiritual and cultural enrichment for 40 African American young men. The retreat will focus on fellowship with Cave staff, participants, their fathers and mentors. The retreat will include physical training, spiritual enrichment, outdoor nature challenges, reflection, meditation, team building, and recreational fun.
BE A PART OF CREATING AND SUSTAINING TANGIBLE TRANSFORMATION FOR OUR YOUNG BLACK MALES. Please give now! A $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 donation will not only help to change the lives of young black males, but that of the families, schools, communities and world of which they are apart!