History of R.E.A.L Leaders:
In 2014, R.E.A.L Leaders (Reaching Everyone’s Achievable Limits) was birthed out of a lunch group at Battle Creek Middle School in the Saint Paul Public School District that gathered 25-30 young men of color to discuss various topics such as education, family, brotherhood, academic enrichment and service learning within their community. Each meeting started and ended with the motto “We are better TOGETHER, than APART.” Using this motto for every meeting not only set the tone for the class but also set the tone to build a strong community within the young men, which helped join them together. The R.E.A.L Leaders group was helping the young men to stay focused in school and to feel more a part of their community and school. After noticing the importance of this group and what it meant for the young men, I then, decided that I needed to do something to better serve them, to improve the class and give them more opportunities to fellowship with one another.
R.E.A.L Leaders went from meeting as a lunch group, to becoming an after-school program where the young men were able to do more to enhance their skills and thrive for academic enrichment through peer tutoring. During the after-school program, R.E.A.L Leaders opened up the opportunity for the students to mentor each other and use each other as accountability partners and, prepared them to be better students and citizens for the greater community. Through this new initiative, R.E.A.L Leaders had seen growth with their young men in leadership, school and community involvement and feeling a part of something bigger then themselves.
The mission of R.E.A.L (Reaching Everyone’s Achievable Limits) Leaders is to provide young men from diverse backgrounds with the opportunities to learn the necessary skills and awareness to become vision and goal centered, positively focused, productive and determined to succeed. We will achieve this mission through academic enrichment and excellence, leadership development, and an increased of self-identity and social awareness.
The vision for R.E.A.L Leaders is to provide opportunities for young men from diverse backgrounds to develop the social and academic skills needed to enable them to become the next generation of great leaders in their families, communities, and in the world. Through their leadership we hope to change the stereotypes of young men of color and build bridges of understanding between diverse communities.
Partnership with R.E.A.L Leaders:
In-School and After-School Programming:
2014- 2016: Battle Creek Middle School (Saint Paul Public Schools)
2016- 2020: Parkway Montessori and Community Middle School (Saint Paul Public Schools)
In 2017, R.E.A.L Leaders was approached by Ujamaa Place, a non-profit organization to develop a mentoring program and curriculum called Ujamaa Transformation Mentoring Program, where they will work with high school students that have issues with Ramsey County Juvenile Center and are behind on credit. The program focused on character development, cognitive restricting, spiritual development, life skills training, anger management, and employability skills. The partnership lasted for ten months, due to funding.