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Proud 2 Be Me

Washington Writers Academy

2010-11 Program Highlights
2009-10 Program Highlights
2008-09 Program Highlights

Located in Kalamazoo, Mich., Proud 2 Be Me (P2BM) is one of Turn 2's signature programs. The goal of Proud 2 Be Me is to provide fourth, fifth and sixth graders with the opportunity to increase their ability to withstand the pressure to use drugs and alcohol. For the past seven years, the Proud 2 Be Me Program at Washington Writers Academy has served an average of 15 students each year. Children participate in enrichment activities, study life lessons and develop leadership skills that help keep them healthy as they grow into young adults. The P2BM program provides opportunities for students to grow academically, remain physically fit, work with other Kalamazoo community organizations and receive mentoring from other Turn 2 signature programs, including the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders and Youth in Action.

2011-12 Program Highlights

APRIL 2012

The program year continued with its Taekwondo lessons, and since the beginning of the program year three participants were able to reach the rank of purple belt. Throughout the year Taekwondo was able to improve on the participants self-esteem, confidence, discipline and teamwork. Throughout the month students also took trips to the YMCA to participate in different team sports and activities to keep them healthy and active. It was great to see how the students continued to use teamwork and positive encouragement with each other.

MARCH 2012

In March, the students continued their tennis and swimming lessons. The month was also a very special one because students completed anti-bullying campaign, which they had been working on throughout the year. The participants received a lot of assistance and feedback from the Jeter's Leaders in helping to finalize the campaign. They are all very excited to be able to present it to the rest of the school.


The month of February was an awesome month for after-school participants. The students continued learning new Taekwondo skills and have come a really long way since the start of the program year, and many have been promoted to different color belts. This month students were also able to take part in swimming and tennis lessons. Students have been developed strong bonds and teamwork skills while playing tennis matches together. This month the students also took a trip to a local business, the Art Bayou, to create pottery.


The new year started off very quickly at Proud 2 Be Me! Participants began by reviewing their expectations for the new year and setting new goals, as well as going over Derek's 10 Life Lessons. Participants continued their normal Tuesday Taekwondo lessons and were able to start a new activity, lacrosse. The students were really excited to be able to learn about a new sport. This month 10 after-school participants that had consistently demonstrated positive behavior, excellent grades and leadership skills were rewarded with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge for fun activities.


December was a very exciting month and the students were able to get into the holiday spirit. The students worked together to make blankets for senior citizens at a nearby nursing home. After completing the blankets, the staff delivered the items right before the holiday break just in time for the upcoming holiday. December was also exciting because of the Turn 2 Foundation's Holiday Express at The Rave Motion Pictures. Participants from Turn 2's Signature Programs in Kalamazoo gathered to celebrate the holidays. They were treated to a screening of the movie, "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked." After the movie they were surprised by Derek and Santa Claus and presented with gifts. It was a great way to end the year.


The participants at Proud 2 Be Me used the month of November to focus on preparing for their school's Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. The students participated in cleaning the school, raking leaves and decorating the gymnasium for the event. For all their hard work throughout the month the students were treated to a pool party at Pirate's Island indoor water park.


The program year started with the introduction of more than a dozen new members, as many of the youth had graduated out of the program. The new children were quickly introduced to the other members, as well as the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders. The students and Jeter's Leaders continued to get acquainted with each other with a fun trip to the Nottawa Fruit Farms. They were able to go pumpkin picking and take part in team building activities. It was a great first month, and the participants and Jeter's Leaders hit it off well. Many fun activities are in store for the new program year including community service activities, Taekwondo, an anti-bullying campaign and swimming classes.

2010-11 Program Highlights
2009-10 Program Highlights
2008-09 Program Highlights

Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $23 million to create and support signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "Turn 2" healthy lifestyles. Learn more »

Social Change Project
The Project is an event created to share one of the Foundation's principles with communities. Learn more »

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