YLF would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the following organizations for making it possible for changing the lives of 300 students and creating 300 bright futures in our Nation's Capital.
Our signature programs train young professionals and college-aged men and women to build character and mentor 3rd–8th graders throughout the school-year and summer.
Our students most value being a part of YLF because of the friendship they share with their mentor. Students have greater self-confidence, set and achieve more goals and develop positive habits related to character as a result of their time with mentors.
One such student is TAP Alum, Magnus Dada. Hear in his words as he reflects on his time in the program.
READ HIS STORY BELOW:
The summer of 2004, was the first time I heard about Tenley Achievement Program. My mother informed me that I would be attending a camp called "TAP". I questioned her confused, “Why am I going to a tap dancing camp!?”. She shook her head and said, “It’s not a dance camp, T.A.P. is a program that helps students in reading, math, science and history.” “So, it's summer school?” I sighed. She assured me, “It’s an academic and mentoring program.” But my idea of summertime fun was playing football in the streets all summer long. I wanted to play outside with my good friends.
For better or worse, the first day arrived. The location was Amidon Elementary School in Southwest, DC. At the time it seemed surreal, so much energy and excitement. Over 150 students, all boys, filled a massive gymnasium. All those friends I had wanted to play outside with were all attending TAP too. All of us students were waiting to hear our names and the assignments for our designated teams and classes. I can recall once sports started, I instantly became a competitor. It was at TAP where I was introduced to a new sport called Lacrosse. The atmosphere held a healthy competition. The importance of academics hadn't yet begun to set into my mind but it would do so later as my time in TAP progressed. TAP became an automatic brotherhood for all my friends, teammates, even our coaches and staff.
By the time the summer of 2005 came, there was no way I was to mistake TAP for dance camp. I was completely enthralled to start this next session in TAP with all my newfound friends and entered the summer feeling more confident and prepared. I walked around as if I knew everything! I took pride in the sportsmanship, fellowship and other ways I showed growth in the short two years at TAP. I remember being awarded “Most Improved in Football” - a feat, I
still carry as a badge of pride! My time with mentors proved, there was yet more to learn; the core of TAP’s curriculum—Character, Virtue and Leadership—I still lacked.
2006 would be my last in TAP as a student and the year I became much more focused on academics and on my own character. Leadership, Fortitude and Fellowship: virtues that all came together for me during final year! I wanted to increase my marks to show the younger participants the value in this opportunity before us. At the end of the program, I had found my stride in academics. The icing on the cake: I won my first sports championship in TAP on my final day as a student in the program!
Between 2009 and 2016, I came back to volunteer and to work at TAP, feeling the need to give back to the program that gave me so much. I returned as a volunteer for the winter program in Northwest DC in 2009, and again as an assistant coach and mentor during the summer of 2010. 2010 was my inauguration into the workforce, an opportunity given to me by YLF that I seized! I continued to volunteer during the summer of 2012, and taught English in 2016. Upon my return from a six-month stint in teaching in Thailand, YLF was where I wanted to serve.
Because of the opportunities I received from YLF, I've become more experienced and confident as an aspiring young adult. I strongly believe that this is the ultimate goal for the Tenley Achievement Program: to create opportunities for every youth in DC to grow in character!
Since 1997, 3,000 students have been through YLF. On behalf of these and those to come, We would like to take the time to send special thanks for making MAGNUS' STORY & hundreds like his possible:
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MidCap Financial *Captain
O.W.R.S. *Captain - New Industry Captain
TOP $2,500+ SPONSORS
Dwight Murray, Esq.
The Acacia Foundation
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