Don't Die Young is a marketing based youth development initiative designed to serve youth who are at greatest risk of being impacted by youth violence. Our model of service is to serve as a brand that engages community based organizations, youth and the general community with information and inspiration.
Although Don't Die Young will support male and female youth of all backgrounds who are at-risk of being impacted by youth violence, there is a committed focus on serving young black men ages 13 - 25 to address the disproportionate negative outcomes they experience.
Why Don't Die Young?
Simply put, youth dying before they have a chance to truly live their lives is unnatural! Aside from a disease that may compromise the health of a young person, the expectation is that our kids will live a long life full of memories and love. Unfortunately, the blood of youth across the nation continues to flow in the streets as a result of violence. Not only are our young people dying a physical death, but they are first consumed with stress and discouragement that leads to an emotional and spiritual death that sets the stage for living an at-risk lifestyle that results in a physical death.
With the continual challenges facing youth that result in youth violence around the country, it is time to identify and genuinely address the environmental conditions that lead to so many young people dying spiritually, emotionally and physically. Young people today have an amazing selection of negative influences that work to formulate their ideas and values of life. Never before in our society has violence been so accepted which is evidenced in part by the prevalence of violence in movies, television, music and video games. These influences combined with poor education, poverty and hopelessness have been the recipe for the devastating loss of young lives nationwide. So the questions that must be asked includes:
* What happens to young spirits bombarded with messages of violence?
* What happens when the attainment of the American Dream is presented through violence?
* What happens when our young people are being left behind in a marketplace that educationally
requires more from them than ever before?
Unfortunately, what happens is staggering youth violence where lives, dreams, hopes and families are destroyed. The issues facing youth today have everything to do with the state of their souls that struggle with the anger and depression within the family and/or community day in and day out. To change the downward spiral in the lives of youth identified as at-risk, it is critically important that we begin to provide necessary services while encouraging their souls.
From an early age, young boys intuitively understand the expectations of being a man in this society. Far too many of our young men are submitting to negative temptations filled with perceived value that defines their manhood. There are of course numerous social factors that contribute to these challenges including family matters and poor education as examples. Don’t Die Young takes a high level view of youth violence by focusing on youth development. Our position is that if we can support the holistic development of youth, we will see more positive outcomes in the lives of vulnerable and under-served youth. Taking a holistic approach to resolving the issues facing our youth must include not only youth services, but also family services that account for the health of the entire family.
GOAL OF DON'T DIE YOUNG
To serve as a brand that galvanizes, informs and encourages stakeholders engaged in the wellness of youth.
Don't Die Young will creatively deliver encouraging, compelling and relevant information to youth via mediums that facilitate engagement.
Don't Die Young will deliver
public awareness strategies focused on disseminating
uplifting information about
youth, community based organizations and the
Don’t Die Young initiative.
Don't Die Young will promote collaboration among community based organizations that serve youth and their families by providing initiative-wide
marketing support and advocacy efforts in the interest of youth development.
JOIN THE COALITION
Sign up here to join the Don't Die Young Coalition! As a member of the coalition, we will keep you connected with news, webinars, programs and all things uplifting and inspirational.