By Miya Jones
The need for mentorship in the northern Philadelphia community is being fulfilled through the brand new organization, DonCares of Philadelphia, started by one of Temple’s own.
The mission of DonCares is to provide positive role models, who promote education and go against typical stereotypes, for the minority students in Philadelphia. The organization started as a vision, but then became a reality in September of 2015 thanks to senior education major, Donovan Forrest.
“I always had a passion since I was about 16-years-old for mentoring at-risk youth,” said Forrest. “I myself was at-risk so I know the impact that it could make on children’s lives.”
Forrest grew up in the Amish section of Philadelphia near Cheltenham Ave. and he struggled with behavioral issues. His mother, who is an educator, was able to steer him on the right path.
“Luckily I had a mother, a strong black woman, who instilled in me the value of education and how education can transform your life,” said Forrest. “Ultimately throughout my deviance, I came back to how I was raised and I realized education is the way out.”
After transferring from Millersville University, Forrest decided to follow through with his passion and began the month-long journey of recruiting members for the organization. DonCares now has a dedicated staff of nine board members and five executive board members.
Secretary and junior at Temple, Trey Reynolds, is one of the 14 members who joined the organization due to a shared interest in mentoring minority students. He was inspired by Forrest’s ambition and decided to join.
“It’s rewarding,” said Reynolds. “I’m all for helping the youth and the community because we need more role models, especially black men.”
Back in June, the organization visited Bethune Elementary School during career day where they held a workshop and discussed black history and self-identification and college preparation. The goal was to educate the youth as well as encourage them to push past possible limitations.
“There are ways out of extraordinary circumstances and you just have to find those mentors, those role models and those experiences,” said Reynolds.
The U School, which is an up and coming innovative high school located on the corner of North Franklin and W. Norris Street, is another school that DonCares is working with and they hope to implement workshops centered around social media marketing among other skills at the school.
DonCares of Philadelphia hopes to expand and submit proposals for more educational workshops, provide scholarships, host educational field trips and ultimately become a 501c3 non-profit organization. They are also looking to reach out to other schools in the Philadelphia area in the hopes that their vision can spread throughout Philadelphia and beyond.