What is Platinum Minds?
Platinum Minds is a non-profit, educational and leadership development organization that provides academically motivated boys from disadvantaged, low-income backgrounds (i) a strong literacy program for students (grades 1-5) and (ii) assistance in secondary school placement, educational mentoring, and leadership development (grades 6-12).
Why Platinum Minds?
Platinum Minds, created by Yvette Long, was in response to the increasing dropout rates, especially for young male students from underprivileged neighborhoods where there are insufficient resources to adequately sustain and encourage learning. With a focus on the male student population in NJ, she developed a program that reinforces and expands education in a supportive environment, celebrating achievement, leadership in the community, and the value of college and career goals.
What are Platinum Minds programs?
Platinum Minds programs: Arête Leaders: a leadership program developing young men (Grades 6-12) with two component a. Frederick Douglass Reading & Literacy Arête Component: (Grades 1-5), b. Bridges – Peers Connect Arête Component: “Bridges” provides students with an opportunity to assume leadership roles, by joining with students from varying backgrounds and socio-economic classes. Educational Scholarship Initiative: Our scholarship program provides deserving students an opportunity to attend top-tier, private secondary and parochial schools. Mentoring Initiative: Our students are matched with a caring and supportive adult mentors and role models. Summer Initiative: Every summer, we work to place our students in interesting programs in which they can explore new activities, experience the out-of-doors, and have fun!
Who are the students participating in Platinum Minds?
We work with our younger students (grades 1-5) to provide a strong foundation in reading, and then offer a more comprehensive academic and leadership program to our older students (grades 6-12) in our Student Scholar programs. This year we have 23 Student Scholars from northern New Jersey including Newark, Asbury Park, South Orange, and Jersey City. Additionally, we have another 120 boys participating in our “Frederick Douglass Reading Programs” (grades 1-5) and “Connect to Your Dreams” (grades 5-8).
How are Student Scholars selected?
Each year, Student Scholars are recommended to our program through their school, church, or a community organization. Through interviewing and academic assessment, we identify those candidates who show great leadership potential, and a commitment to the goals of our programs. Our Student Scholars participate in the Platinum Minds program throughout their high school years and into college. Alumni are encouraged to return as mentors and speakers, thus reinforcing the leadership skills central to our philosophy.
What makes Platinum Minds unique?
We are committed to ensure the success of our young men, one student at a time, and thus focus our time and resources on a core group of potential young leaders. We work with our students throughout the academic year, mentoring outside of school and during the summer months. Our goal is to ensure that these young men graduate high school, pursue higher education, and return to their communities as innovative leaders.