Welcome to The Black Suit Initiative

In The News

A Six Year Journey

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 Six years ago, Tavares Nichols entered  our Chosen 50 program as a painfully shy 7th grader, but over the course of the years, Tavares emerged as  one of our strongest leaders. His charisma, confidence and creativity  always led his team to win our annual competition; including this year.   

Tavares will continue his journey at NC A&T State University and pursue a career as a teacher. 

BSI Has A New Home!

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Several months ago, BSI made a plea for larger space to accommodate our growing program. Hope Chapel answered the call and we will officially begin the  school year in our new facility located on their campus on N. Josephine Boyd Street located across from Grimsley High School. 

And The Winner Is...

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Each year, BSI members give a final presentation to a panel of judges  based upon the theme of the year. This year's theme was entrepreneurship. Five teams presented to a panel of 8 judges, who had the difficult task of selecting one team. This year's winner was led by our graduating senior, Tavares Nichols. His team's business concept, called the  "The Success Challenge", is a YouTube platform  encouraging youth to upload positive contributions to counteract the negative videos which flood social media. 

Hanging In "The Big Easy"

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In June,  high school students took  on a 4-day adventure to New  Orleans. The 6-state journey, with tour stops in Georgia and Alabama,  allowed students to explore the rich history and culture of the “Deep  South”. From a steamboat ride on the Mississippi to a guided tour of the  historical Lafayette Cemetery, these young men created memories they  

will forever cherish. 

Beginning Their First Chapter

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 Since May, the young men of The Black  Suit Initiative have worked with a group of Pre-K boys in their quest to  be strong readers upon entering kindergarten in the fall. From sight  words to reading small books, these young men are well on their way to  being reading super stars! (Click on the link below to see one of our  students read a book to his mother)  


Watch our reader

BSI Selects New Members

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 Each July, our team of youth ambassadors  has the arduous task of interviewing and selecting new members to join  the family of the Black Suit Initiative. This year, a record number of stellar applicants, prompted our organization to increase its enrollment to 47; nearly a 50% increase from last year. 

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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

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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!

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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

Hours

Mon

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tue

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wed

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Thu

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Fri

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sat

Closed

Sun

Closed