The Institute for Positive Living's Open Book Program

 
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IPL Newsletter for February, 2009

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February, 2009, Page One


A Message from Our Founder
IPL's Male Mentoring Program


A Message from Our Founder
Rev. Marrice Coverson, President, Institute for Positive Living

 

Do Like Barack Obama—Tap into you Gifts and Possibilities

by Rev. Marrice Coverson
President, Institute for Positive Living

 

Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States by tapping into his gifts and possibilities. As a young man, he took a good look at his strengths, his gifts and enhanced them. Then he capitalized on those gifts by looking exploring and pursuing the possibilities of life. One of these possibilities was a college education and a Harvard Law Degree. The possibility became reality. Another possibility was helping people by becoming a community organizer. The possibility became reality. Another possibility was becoming a State Senator in Illinois. The possibility became reality. And another was becoming a U.S. Senator. The possibility became reality. And then he pursued the possibility of becoming the first African American president of the United States. The possibility became reality—and history was made.

Everyone can’t be president. But, each of us has gifts—and goals— that are equally significant. We have the gifts that make us leaders, just as Barack Obama is a leader. Many think that leaders are people who head up countries or big corporations. But, every one of us can be a leader by contributing to our families, our communities, the United States and the world.

This is what President Barack Obama meant in his Inaugural address when he said:

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.”

We at the Institute for Positive Living hear President Obama’s message loud and clear. We have been living that message since the very first day when IPL launched its Open Book pilot project. At IPL we train youth to channel their energies in positive directions.

A main focus for IPL is literacy and the love of reading. Literacy is the baseline

Channel those energies into a positive direction. Literacy defines where you are and where you can be and go in life. If a child can’t read, it is difficult for them to dream and become a visionary—or even think. The ability to read gives a child an ability to think and see a world that is beyond what they can see right in front of them. It gives the child the possibility of dreaming.

IPL also focuses on entrepreneurship. Through IPL’s Entrepreneurship Program, we help kids tap into their ideas and create small businesses. This process inspires the possibility of these youth becoming great business people in the future.

IPL also mentors young males and females. Through IPL’s Male Mentoring Program, boys see that they have great qualities that they can tap into. Just as Barack Obama has gifts, so do they. They can develop these gifts. They have the possibility of doing great things, not only for themselves, but for their communities and for the world.

Females in IPL programs are mentored with a feminine touch. Barack Obama’s achievements are not only an inspiration for males, but for young women as well. IPL mentors young women, helping them bring out their innate ability to think, to dream, and to love themselves and feel good about life and the possibilities of life.

Many of our kids have lost the ability to dream because they are weighted down by the challenges—challenges that they shouldn’t have been weighted down with. That’s why all of our IPL programs are centered around the great possibilities that each of these young people can tap into in life.

We believe in these youth and their possibilities. Each one of us wants to have people to believe in us—this is what pushes onwards and upwards in our life.

We believe in our children. We act for our children. Join IPL in this belief and this action. Imagine the possibilities—for our children, for our communities, and for the world.

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IPL's Male Mentoring Program

IPL male mentoring at Mayo

These boys from Mayo Elementary School are pictured with Facilitator/Mentor Yanier Moore during an IPL Male Mentoring Book Club session.

Experiencing Lawry's Steak House

IPL Mentor Darry Hearon helps a young man from Williams Multiplex order his meal during a field trip to Lawry’s Steak House.


Experiencing Lawry's Steak House

Young men from Williams Multiplex are pictured with IPL Mentor Bomani Obadele during a field trip to Lawry’s Steak House.

IPL’s Male Mentoring Book Club meets everyday of the week in six different high schools and grammar schools throughout Chicago: Paul Robeson, Wendell Phillips and Christian Fenger High Schools, Daniel Hale Williams Multiplex, Nicholson Math and Science and William J. & Charles H. Mayo Elementary Schools.

IPL mentors meet with young men at each of these schools one day per week for 1-1/2 hours. The sessions include a mentoring curriculum, reading a book, and talking about important issues in the lives of these youth. The Male Mentoring Book Club provides a safe place where youth can come and talk about important male issues with a knowledgeable and caring adult. IPL also takes youth on educational and cultural trips in order to broaden their horizons.

“Through IPL’s Male Mentoring Program, boys see that they have great qualities that they can tap into,” states IPL President Marrice Coverson. “Just as Barack Obama has gifts, so do they. They can develop these gifts. They have the possibility of doing great things, not only for themselves, but for their communities and for the world.”

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