This is what service/volunteering looks like. It's doing your thing with youth. Meet Kyana. Kyana's thing is Yoga--not chess or basketball. So, she brings Yoga to detained youth at the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center in Prince George's County, Maryland. This is part of her Sunday, part of her week, part of her life--and now, part of their lives! Do Your Thing!
What a needed de-stressor in detention. . .
What life-tools . . . .
Service is not bells and whistles. In fact, if it is true service, fanfare is avoided. At Beyond Rhetoric, we believe that service to detained youth has to be consistent, specific to you and something that can be sustained. Troy playing detained youth at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. This youth won a year earlier! But, Troy had to make sure that didn't happen again! (and, it hasn't! :o) )
"Coach Marcellus" (in orange) volunteers two hours a month doing what he's good at-- playing basketball. The difference is that he's engaging youth who need him most at the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center! When not serving children in detention on a Saturday morning,
Marcellus is a middle school principal in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Where: Cheltenham Youth Detention Center
Will Iampieri was a student intern during the Fall 2023 semester, and before his internship was complete, he expressed an interest in continued service to the youth! Will is very responsive to the needs of the youth, editing his activities with their motivations and leanings, so he conferences in a way that truly seeks to discover the best way to reach the youth. He will return to Western Maryland Children's Center, not as a college intern but as a full volunteer! He starts on January 14, 2024 and will make it a weekly activity. Here are the games he will start with: Bananagrams, Pit, Partners, Tapple, and of course, Chess! We are so thrilled to have Will as a part of the Beyond Rhetoric family!
Melisa Delao was a Spring 2023 intern with Howard Community College (see video below). After her internship, she asked to stay on. When asked what she would like to do with the girls, Melisa did not quite know but knew she just wanted to serve. She trailed Troy Grant for a few weeks, playing chess. She began to learn chess and play with the girls. However, Melisa had other interests--like art and crafts. It did not take long before she introduced "Friendship Bracelets." When we played chess, we had between 2-3 girls who expressed interest. When Melisa introduced the Friendship Bracelets as an activity, all the girls wanted to participate!
Spring 2023 Interns from Howard Community College play volleyball with youth! The goal is to move beyond book-learning when it comes to understanding the criminal justice system and detained youth. This is what service looks like. It is not ballyhoo. If it is true service, hullabaloo is avoided. At Beyond Rhetoric, we believe that serving detained youth has to be consistent, specific to you and something that can be sustained. We hope you join us!
Beyond Rhetoric partners with the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center (BCJJC). Khaalis Hall is the lead on this initiative, having spent time participating with BCJJC's fatherhood program and leading his own program within BCJJC. The focus is on how to be a dad and a safe place to talk about fatherhood challenges and joys. When asked, Khaalis shared, "I'm excited to be a listener to learn and engage with these young men to see how I can inspire them." The hope with this program is it not only helps the detained young fathers, but it also, by extension, nurtures the "hidden victims" because "As many as half of all boys whose parents do time will wind up behind bars themselves" (All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated ~ Nell Bernstein)
The sessions will be bi-weekly.
Melisa was a college intern, earning credit to serve youth in detention.
Will Iampieri reflects on his internship, volunteering with Beyond Rhetoric.
GED Tutoring is an easy way to get started. We will provide the book, the topic and the cheat-sheet (answers are in the back of the book!) for you to jump right in and start serving detained youth who want to pass the GED.
You could also bring your own program to youth in detention. We are looking for skilled, passionate individuals who feel they can commit to being a positive influence in the lives of children.
If you are 18 or older, you'd be surprised what experience you have that is needed. See MLK's quote below for the ultimate qualification, however.
No worries! We will work with you to be sure your impact is felt.
Join us during one of our existing programs to see how easy it is to let youth know you care.
When you contact us, we will help walk you through the process so it is stress-free!
"[W]e are actively recruiting
"Everybody can be great. . . because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." -Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo Credit: Rachel V. King Lifestyle
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." ~ Pablo Picasso