In Guilford County, there are over 91,000 people who are considered food insecure. In an effort to combat hunger, The Black Suit Initiative held their 3rd annual "Locked In To Lock Out Hunger" campaign which raised over 3,000 non-perishable food items to completely stock the Hope Chapel Food Pantry. This 24-hour campaign, also required all students to fast for 24-hours.
When BSI moved onto the campus of Hope Chapel in July, we were provided the opportunity to partner with their members in community outreach projects. Our first month included distributing food from their food bank, cleaning the campus of Grimsley High School and clearing brush and debris around the church. We're excited about our new partnership!
Lendrell Martin, an internationally recognized fashion designer from NYC, spent a Saturday afternoon with members of BSI sharing his life's story and providing insight into the fashion industry. This event was made possible by the Ascena Retail Group.
As a part of our Manhood 101 Series, young men in our program were able to learn basic car maintenance techniques from local mechanics.
Hundreds of thousands of children are diagnosed each year with Type 1 Diabetes. Although advances have been made there still is no cure. This year, BSI walked for our little friend, Liv, in the annual JDRF Walk in Greensboro. We're hoping one day for a cure!
Your generosity allows us the opportunity to provide these young men with FREE educational opportunities year-round. Make your tax deductible donation today.
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 through 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 30 years and they have one daughter, Amariah.