The Bloom Project, Inc. is a not for profit organization that provides service projects, college preparation, character building, and career exploration opportunities to prepare youth, ages 12-18, for secondary education and increase knowledge in their career paths. The name of the organization came from my grandfather Ezell “Bloom” Stephens. As I think of the motivation of the organization is to continue my family’s Legacy. As you are all aware we have started programs including the Kings Feast symposium and monthly mentor workshops, which will continue. We have decided to change the names so everyone can differentiate our programs.
Building youth into the next generation of future leaders in their community.
A mentor is a trusted adult friend with a long-term, consistent commitment to provide guidance and support to a youth. Formal Mentoring Programs are focused on supporting the relationship between mentor and youth (mentee) and developing the character and capabilities of the young person. At the most basic level a mentor is there to help the young person understand that they are valued by their community and were born with their own unique gifts and purpose. At the deepest level mentors stand by and guide young people when they suffer the challenges and initiations in their development.
Bloom Project offers character building to the youth that we serve to help cater to their overall development as a teenager. Our programs are designed to build a diverse network of leaders resulting in a powerful ripple effect of inclusion throughout the community. We build leaders in the community through our programs focused on discrimination, entrepreneurship, relationships, and much more. We connect our young men with mentors across the city that has a passion to help our youth develop and mature into successful citizens. The character development of our youth is so important to their future endeavors. We strive to make sure that what we provide to our youth is something that they can benefit from and use for future use.
Bloom Project offers college preparation the youth we serve in a variety of ways. Primarily, we would like to take our youth out on annual college tours to get them exposed to a variety of colleges of their interest. We also strive to partner with local colleges, universities, and vocational schools who are willing to come to our mentoring workshops to provide information regarding their institution’s academic programs. Another way we provide college preparation is by hosting a variety of mentoring workshops that focus on the importance of education and higher learning. We strive to provide academic tutoring to our youth in academic areas that require some improvement. We take our youth’s educational development very seriously. One of our program goals is to make sure that 95% of our boys attend post-secondary education after high school.
Bloom Project Inc. is committed to helping young people become part of the solution to societal problems by showing them how even their smallest actions can make a difference in the lives of others. We provide high-quality volunteer service experiences for our participants. We bring the field of service-learning to the community’s young people through the Project King Program to encourage community participation and engaged citizenship through direct service to homeless and hungry people.
We believe that our youth should be involved in their community and show their civic responsibility by giving back to the community that they serve. Bloom Project Inc offers our youth and our mentors opportunities to serve their community through service projects. These service projects can be anything from participating in a local peace rally to volunteering their time at a local food bank. Our goal with our service projects is to show our boys that their community needs them to be successful and help make their community a better place. We strive to make sure that our youth realizes that they can never be too young to take part of something or even start something that is greater than them.
How do we expect young people to dream if they don’t know what they can dream about? Opportunities for career exploration give young people broader exposure to the working world they will one day enter. It helps them “connect the dots” between school and career in ways that keep them motivated to graduate with the skills they will need for the future. Bloom Project Inc. provides opportunities for our participants to improve their academic performance, improve their attitudes about their career possibilities, and motivate them to persevere. We encourage our young men to develop and work towards their goals during these critical years as they begin to venture beyond their home environment.
We provide career preparation through our mentoring program for our youth. Every workshop begins with a career overview that introduces a career to our youth for them to explore. We make sure we gather career interests of our youth and invite those professionals in that career to come out and speak to our youth about their profession. We partner with professional associations, community leaders, and any other business/corporation who do not mind volunteering their time to come out and speak to our youth.