This is what service/volunteering looks like. It is not always 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 (for the sake of the youth). Troy playing detained youth at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. This young man beat Troy 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
Jumoke Gyenyame wanted to volunteer by imparting financial lessons he knew would empower the youth. An entrepreneur himself, Jumoke, or "Mr. J." as the youth call him, plays a game on Sunday mornings before he attends church with his family. The game he plays, CA$HFLOW teaches how to earn enough disposable income so one can get out of the "rat race," trading hours for dollars. When Troy enters the detention center on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m., playing chess, the youth ask, "Is Mr. J coming?" They are excited and begin talking about how they're progressing in the game, or in their language, "I'm about to win. I'm doing big deals now." This program also fulfills the Department of Juvenile Justices's academic goals!
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 is partnering 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.
We are looking for skilled, passionate individuals who feel they can commit to being a positive influence in the lives of children.
Intimate knowledge of the skill or activity that you will be teaching. Teaching, coaching experience is preferred.
No worries! We will work with you to come up with trauma-sensitive lesson plans so we can make sure that your impact is felt.
No worries! Join us during our existing programs. Whether it's basketball every other Saturday or chess on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays or Sunday Volleyball or the financial literacy game on Sundays (different locations), or the Young Fathers Group every other Saturday (beginning mid-April), we have you covered.
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
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." ~ Rabindranath Tagore