Welcome to The Black Suit Initiative

(336) 549-0146



    The number of words a child knows upon entering kindergarten is a key predictor of his or her academic success. More than 1 in 3 children arrive in kindergarten without the necessary skills for lifetime learning. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who were read to on a regular basis were able to count higher, write their own names and outperformed other students without literary stimulation. 

    By age 4, children from wealthy families have heard 30 million more words than children growing up in poverty. Research conducted at the University of Kansas, found parents on welfare spoke about 620 words to their children within an hour compared to the 2150 words spoken by professional parents. Extensive research has also found parents from more affluent families read aloud to their children more often than those from economically disadvantaged households. Conversations and reading aloud to children have been shown to improve vocabularies, grow IQ’s and improve standardized testing scores. 

    In the United States, 22% of those living in poverty are African Americans; the highest racial percentage in the country. In Guilford County, over 40% of African Americans are living in poverty. 

    In America, only 15% of African American males are reading at grade level prior to entering high school. Research has shown a direct correlation with the literacy performance of African American males and the likelihood of incarceration. Eighty-five percent of juvenile offenders in America are also functionally illiterate. Juvenile incarceration reduces the probability of high school graduation and increases the chances of incarceration later in life. In fact, high school drop outs are 4x more likely to be arrested in their lifetime. 

    The number of words a child knows upon entering kindergarten is a key predicator of his or her academic success. More than 1 in 3 children arrive in kindergarten without the necessary skills for lifetime learning. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who were read to on a regular basis were able to count higher, write their own names and outperformed other students without literary stimulation. 



    Your donation will  ensure each child receives:

     First Reader’s Book Kit (25 Books)

    Flash cards

    Weekly snacks/drink



    School supplies

    Tee shirt with “Chapter One” logo 

    The cost to sponsor a child for the 8 month program is $100, but any investment will be useful in providing these young men with the opportunity to be successful upon entering kindergarten. Make a one time donation or setup recurring payments in any amount. 







    In The News

    I Beg To Differ


    Youth speech and debate coaches from Northwest High School spent three months teaching debate techniques to BSI members. The final month, students participated in an intense debate with subjects pertaining to sports in school and standardized testing. The partnership will continue throughout the year as youth tackle subjects such as gender and racial inequality, education and politics. 

    A Unique Career In Engineering


     Non-Destructive Engineering  is the process of inspecting, testing, or  evaluating materials, components or assemblies for discontinuities, or  differences in characteristics without destroying the serviceability of  the part or system.   Kendall Brumby shared his path from restaurant owner to Engineer and the interesting personal journey which led him here. 

    A Day At Lot 2450


     On a cold and rainy Saturday morning, BSI members were out at 7:30 to  work in the rural city of Mayodan at Lot 2540. Lot 2540 is a ministry  which assists those in need of securing some of life's staples such as  clothing, food, job opportunities, resources and most importantly, hope. 

    For Greensboro To Grammys


     The Black Suit Initiative was proud to host Grammy award winning music  producer, Fanatic. Getting his early foundation in music in Greensboro,  NC, Fanatic took his passion to New York City to work with some of the  industry's most iconic artists. He won his first Grammy in 2003 as a  producer on Beyonce's "Dangerously In Love" album.  

    Sigma Pi Phi Mentors


     The Black Suit Initiative is honored to have Sigma Pi Phi, as their  newest mentor partner. Sigma Pi Phi, also referred to as "the Boulé,"  which means "a council of noblemen", was founded as an organization for  professionals. Sigma Pi Phi is the first successful and oldest  African-American Greek-lettered organization. It has welcomed and  continues to welcome into its fraternal bond some of the most  distinguished men in the world. Its members have included such men as  W.E.B. DuBois, Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr.  Charles R. Drew. 

    Principles of Wealth Building


    Pearce Landry, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Granville Capital and several  staff members hosted a morning of financial literacy workshops for BSI members. From investing in stocks to starting their own businesses, students left energized about their financial futures. 

    Your Investment Is Needed

    Your generosity allows us the opportunity to provide these young men with FREE educational opportunities year-round. Make your tax deductible donation today. 

    Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

    About Us

    The Sparrow's Nest, Inc.

     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. 

    The Black Suit Initiative

    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.

    Why A Black Suit?

     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. 

    Meet The Founder

    Evainna W. Ross


    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.

    Contact Us

    Drop us a line!

    Better yet, see us in person!

    The Sparrow's Nest, Inc.

    122 N Elm St, Ste 503, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401, United States

    (336) 549-0146



    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm


    9:00 am – 5:00 pm