Vulnerable Populations

We Must Engage, Equip, & Empower Them!


America is at a crossroads. Our young people have lost momentum. And the 2020 protests — really, a multi-decade problem — spotlighted a growing eyesore that we can’t ignore anymore. Disadvantaged communities, in many cases, are being left behind. Employment gaps. Empowerment caps. Enjoyment traps. All of these lead to economic fractures that are getting wider by the day. This is particularly troublesome for at-risk youth who have emotional, relational, and educational barriers to overcome, not to mention deficits in the areas of personal, professional, and financial development, vital keys for short- and long-run success. Lives and legacies hang in the balance. Bridge-builders must step forward to cover these shortfalls. If not now, when?

Let’s weigh in on the Ma’Khia Bryant death, which garnered national and international headlines back in April. Leveraging the scales of justice, many on the left — fans of the Black Lives Matter movement — immediately castigated the Columbus police department. “Another rogue cop shoots a black victim,” they echoed in unison. A large swath on the right rushed to the defense of Blue Lives Matter without context or pretext of what precipitated the skirmish. I pushed pause and thought, “How did the young lady find herself in such a terrible predicament? The world now knows the end of her life. But do they even care about the pain throughout Ma’Khia’s journey that pushed her over the broken-hearted cliff?”

The day after the shooting I received a call from the educational coordinator of the foster care agency Ma’Khia Bryant knew as her de facto caregiver. This young lady lived a shattered life. We all witnessed the horror of these pieces falling to the ground the moment her body hit the pavement (which video footage didn’t show). LFYO is a committed partner in assisting this foster care agency and young people from similar backgrounds as Ma’Khia.

Late 2020 we presented a five-week virtual program to nearly 20 foster care youth connected to this agency, culminating in a field trip to True Food Kitchen right before Christmas. I wanted to treat these kids to some real food that tasted really good. More importantly, my goal was to plant lasting memories with corresponding emotions and action-oriented feelings into every cell of their bodies. This is our “secret sauce” as an organization, creating those unforgettable moments that participants can draw from over the course of their challenging lives. When you’re dropped by someone, something, or some system, the road to recovery won’t happen overnight or without outsight.

Without vision, life becomes a meaningless voyage. And so many of are most vulnerable (and even some privileged) young people drift through life without any sense of purpose, passion, or perspective about their calling. They fail to ask … Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my talents, gifts, and abilities? Where do I find my fit in life? How do I get started? Who can assist and walk alongside me as I complete my journey? This is where you and/or your organization can step in and step up as leaders who accept the philanthropic call to action. You can support LFYO in the bucket areas highlighted below.

You or your organization can be a Role Player, Superstar, All-Star, Legend, or Hall of Fame investment sponsor. Please inquire for more details on sponsorship opportunities. Of course, every contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Funding Goal Per Bucket: $50,000

Total Goal: $250,000

HOLISTIC WELLNESS

Did you know that 54 percent of young people between the ages of 14 to 24 have contemplated suicide? The causes and concerns of mental illnesses, mental issues, and mental islands are an equal opportunity punisher for every age demographic and ethnic group. The state of physical health for America’s youth is the worst its ever been — insulin resistance, Type II diabetes, skyrocketing obesity, heart problems, and autoimmune conditions aren’t confined to the adult population anymore. The social and emotional condition of teens? Well, they cleave to artificial intelligence (through computer-generated algorithms), superficial platforms (by way of social media strongholds), and sacrificial booby traps (at the hands of takers who receive but never give) to fit in, hide out, or push past their inner turmoil. The pain is intense, and the overall mental condition of our nation’s youth appears grim, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Obviously, holistic intervention through practical measures is desperately needed to stop the hemorrhaging problem and kickstart the healing process. Unfortunately, we are running out of time.

SUPPORT WELLNESS

$50,000

Funding Goal


JOB SKILLS READINESS

The employable and entrepreneurial skills gaps have never been more pronounced among classes. Poorer kids disproportionately lag their middle income and affluent peers in the area of twenty-first century job skills — how to work smarter, how to network harder, and how to engage in meaningful teamwork tighter. Starting a business should be a natural fit for ambitious youth with a penchant for enterprising activities, but for those who have never been shown how they’re uniquely wired and what abilities need urgently acquired, their life track will be paved with bad intentions — systemic potholes and self-inflicted pitfalls. The economic treatise will, for the vast majority of vulnerable individuals and families living in abject poverty, be a fleeting and frustrating endeavor. With guidance, grit, and gravitas, though, they can survive and thrive in the area of job skills readiness. No doubt about it.

SUPPORT JOB SKILLS

$50,000

Funding Goal


FINANCIAL LIFE SKILLS

Poverty is more a state of mind than it is a financial land mine. Vulnerable communities face formidable economic challenges that are fraught with many perils. And they’re often taught to believe that their current predicament will result in conditional permanence, or worse yet, a generational landmark of perpetual lack with historically bad luck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our innovative approach and cutting-edge curriculum provides at-risk youth (and even their privileged peers) with the tips, tools, and traits to obtain and sustain financial wellness. Content areas include cash flow management, credit and debt management, identification and monetization of income-stream pathways, asset acquisition and protection strategies, and philanthropy, among many others. Financial life skills and real-world capital-generating drills offer inner-city participants a way of escape to a better and brighter future. Of course, this opportunity will cost them a lot more than what they’ve likely budgeted for.

SUPPORT FINANCIAL SKILLS

$50,000

Funding Goal


LANE CHANGE UNIVERSITY (LCU)

Lane Change U is our roadmap to improve the longitudinal outcomes of vulnerable black and brown communities. From the cradle to the grave, the lane we’re born in doesn’t have to be the lane we stay in. Now, we often make the assumption that people know how to change, why they need to change, and where change must start first. We also make a huge mistake in presuming that the change happening around us, in fact, is occurring within us, too. And it’s hard to get change back without a payment made and an investment secured. Social activism with passion may be good; however, social activating with purpose is far better. We can point fingers at someone, something, or some system that needs to change without ever realizing that three fingers are pointing back at us. Nothing will change until we first commit to The Three Times Change Rule. Change must be consequential. Change must be contractual. Change must be countercultural. Those born in lane 1 or 8 should be given a legitimate chance to run their life and legacy race in lane 4 or 5. And we show them how.

SUPPORT LCU

$50,000

Funding Goal


CIVIL DISCOURSE: PAR FOR THE COURSE

It’s time for us to move up so that our country, communities, companies, classrooms, and civilities can move forward. Unfortunately, we have entrenched positions that separate us along racial, social, and political lines. Our young people are confused, misinformed (on most hot-button issues), and easily influenced by pundits on the left and right who fight for the eyeballs and heartstrings of impressionable youth. Yes, we must cast a spotlight on race, racism, racists, and racial (as in profiling), and the most important of all, racing in the context of life and legacy pursuits. However, entry points or common ground sounding boards, and exit ramps or common sense springboards, are required to move up to higher ground. The Divided States of America cannot be our near- or long-term destiny; we’re better than where we currently stand. Practical bridge-building strategies and sensible leaders with a balanced approach who are well-versed in empathy assimilation, racial reconciliation, and navigational aptitude offer the best chance of bringing our nation together. Our initiatives include but are not limited to civic engagement, conflict resolution, servant leadership, community enrichment, cultural competency, social capital, and violence prevention.

SUPPORT CIVIL DISCOURSE

$50,000

Funding Goal


Investment Donations Made by Check

LFYO
1255 N. Hamilton Road, Suite 135
Gahanna, OH 43230

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