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January 1, 2022 is right around the corner.  This date will mark a very special milestone for Elevate Your G.A.M.E. On this date and throughout 2022 we will celebrate our 20th Anniversary Year.  In light of this special year, I would like to reflect back and share with you five powerful stories of transformation that beautifully illustrates the impact that our mentoring conversations have had on students in urban communities of the Los Angeles area: Compton, Long Beach and Lynwood.



TAMINKA WHEELER-BRAXTON
 “I’m a product of EYG (Elevate Your G.A.M.E.). I was one of the first students in the first EYG program at Compton High.  I think that it has made me the woman that I am.  Without Elevate Your G.A.M.E., I think that I would have never met my mentor, Ms. Cecilia, and I think that I would have been a different person.  And I am saying that because she taught me the importance of education, the importance of being a working adult, and having independence.”

Taminka graduated from several colleges and is a registered nurse. She is currently working as a COVID nurse at a public health clinic.


 
JACQUELINE GARCIA

“I was in Elevate Your G.A.M.E. for all four years of high school. That experience changed my life. Elevate Your G.A.M.E. was not just an after-school program to me, but a safe space that motivated everyone to dream big. They taught us about integrity, accountability, respect, and kindness. 

They taught us about the power of community by modeling that every single week. Through their mentorship program, they equipped us with tools to navigate life and deal with difficult challenges. They encouraged us to excel in academics and provided professional opportunities, like yearly summer internships. 

Elevate Your G.A.M.E. inspired me to look beyond what I thought was possible, given the environment that I was in and all of the seemingly impossible challenges I had stacked up against me. I’m so honored and grateful to be able to say that I was in Elevate Your G.A.M.E.  I’m inspired and shaped by this program to this day.” 

Jacqueline graduated from the University of California Berkeley and earned a bachelor's degree in computer science. At her company she is a senior software engineer.


 

JEREMIAH COMBS
"EYG (Elevate Your G.A.M.E.) has given me opportunities that not many get to have at a young age.  It showed me how the work environment truly is and how to remain professional.  EYG has shaped me into being a leader in any atmosphere I'm in.  I am forever grateful for this program."

Jeremiah recently graduated from Long Beach Poly and is now attending California State University Dominguez Hills.


 
LILIANA VAZQUEZ
"I was part of Elevate Your G.A.M.E. for three years during high school (Compton High). This program helped me develop personal, academic and professional skills that I use up to this day. Thanks to them, I graduated from UCI (University of California Irvine).  I am eternally grateful for everything that this program does, and I wish that everyone could take advantage of their resources."

 
REKEIS T. MALLORY BEY
Our alumni, like Rekeis, come back to encourage our current students to follow in their footsteps of success. He spoke to our Elevate Your G.A.M.E. students at Centennial High School.  Here are some of his words of wisdom that he shared:
"Don’t allow other people to influence your decisions.
Surpass all negativity around you.
Plant seeds in multiple things and watch them grow.
Be brave enough to make a change
Somebody has to be the leader...too many followers."
These are just five examples of hundreds of changed lives.  We have mentored over 2,200 urban students since 2002.  Thank you for partnering with us.  We could not have accomplished 20 years of mentoring without your volunteer services and financial support.  As you can see, our work together has not been in vain. 

Lifting Urban Students Higher,

Michael Freeman
Executive Director  
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