For your minimum $10 donation, your name will be listed on the back of this year's BSI hoodies, which are proudly worn by the young men of The Black Suit Initiative and our dedicated volunteers! Your investment lets them know, "YOU'VE GOT THEIR BACKS!"
For a minimum $25 investment, you will receive a BSI "distressed logo", short-sleeved black tee shirt with your name listed on the back, along with others who have invested in these young men.
The deadline to donate for your name to appear on these items is Friday, November 2!
First Bank hosted members of The Black Suit Initiative in a sky box at a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game. Although the game was rained out our members were grateful for this fun opportunity. Thank you to Cora and Emma Designs for donating our fashionable baseball shirts!
Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to "rough it" for 5 days at Camp Cherokee in Yanceyville, NC. This was the first time these young men experienced life in the great outdoors with very limited contact to the outside world.
September 9th marked the first day all new and "old" members of the Black Suit Initiative met for the first time. The day was spent participating in fun-filled team building activities. Already, they've become family!
Rankin Elementary School families that attended their school's open house were greeted by a BSI member and mom who distributed hundreds of bags of groceries collected by our organization in June. Due to the generosity of the community, we were able to provide food for the summer, school kickoff AND stocked shelves to assist through the remainder of 2018.
BSI members spent 3 days exploring the rich history of Philadelphia, PA. A double decker bus tour, cheese-steaks and a trip to the Hershey Chocolate Factory were just some of the fun activities they enjoyed!
The Sparrow’s Nest , Inc. was developed to engage youth in leadership initiatives in an effort to prevent crime and drug activity and develop educational, artistic and character building skills to better prepare them for their transition to college or career.
In 2016, The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc., launched their new, all male program, “The Black Suit Initiative”.
This leadership and community engagement program allows young men in middle and high school, the opportunity to improve academic performance, explore their career interests and participate in positive team building exercises. The successful completion of program modules allows these young men the opportunity to earn their own full black suit at the completion of the first year.
Young men are selected to be in the program through an application and interview process during the month of June. Members can remain in the organization until they graduate from high school.
The logic behind the black suit is based upon a new study conducted by the psychology department at California State University. They discovered wearing a suit does change thought processes. The study found formal clothing improved confidence levels and changed the basic way respondents perceived the world. Wearing a suit encourages people to use abstract processing more readily than concrete processing.
Born in Lynchburg, VA, Evainna W. Ross has dedicated most of her life to helping youth secure better educational and economic opportunities thorugh the development of her nonprofit organization, The Sparrow's Nest, Inc.
Upon graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S. in Public Relations in 1991, Ross began her journey working with youth under the leadership of the late civil rights pioneer, Rev. Prince E. Graves. Ross spent six years volunteering as the youth director of St. James Baptist Church increasing their youth programs' participation substantially.
Ross took what she learned at St. James Baptist Church and developed a community based model and launched The Sparrow's Nest, Inc. in Claremont Courts, a public housing community in Greensboro in October 2008. The Sparrow's Nest , Inc. was a mobile service which provided free programs on Saturdays such as ballroom dancing, sculpting, culinary arts and public speaking directly to youth in 4 of the largest public housing communities in Greensboro. Because of the growing popularity of these programs, Ross felt she wasn't making a lasting impact only seeing youth in these communities once a month. For that reason, in 2010, Ross, with a panel of educators and business owners, interviewed and selected 50 middle and high school youth to be members of a leadership program called The Chosen 50. The majority of these youth were selected from the communities she had served prior. These youth remained in the program until they graduated high school.
During their time in the program, these youth were empowered to make positive decisions for their lives as well as their communities. These youth have developed their own small businesses, developed political campaigns, created a stock portfolio and learned how to purchase their own homes and cars.
In 2014, Ross was recognized nationally by the Ascena Retail Group as an "everyday hero" who has dedicated her life to making the world a better place by empowering children in the areas of education, social support and self-esteem.
The Sparrow's Nest, Inc. has continued to evolve into a program which addresses the need of an ever-changing society. In 2016 they launched their newest division, The Black Suit Initiative, an all male leadership and community engagement program for middle and high school students.
Ross has been married to Kevin for 29 years and has a daughter, Amariah.
A new analysis of census data on 20 million children and their parents offers this sobering fact - African American males are the least likely of any group to climb out of poverty and most likely to fall into it.
This Harvard and Stanford study was discussed on NPR's program "All Things Considered". In a positive response to this bleak story, local NPR affiliate, WUNC, traveled to Greensboro to see young African American males making a positive impact in their communities and preparing for their successful futures. Click on the picture to be directed to the online news story.
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