Mark grew up on 10th and Brown Streets, in a known gang neighborhood. "We knew, if you saw a car that you didn't recognize, you needed to run. Then one day, a lady came through the neighborhood and invited us to the Mitchell Boys and Girls Club. I had a great time, it kept me off the streets, and game me hope. I met two wonderful mentors who totally changed my life, they took me under their rein, and treated me like their own. They taught me how to be part of a team, a good listener, how to become a leader, and most importantly, how to become a good man." Mark took those skills and applied them to basketball. He later graduated from Little Rock Central High School after helping them win a State Championship. He received a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and played basketball for the Trojans. He graduated with a BA in Health and Exercise Science. "After college, I traveled the country playing semi-pro basketball then went on to travel the world as a professional player. I have the YIP program to thank for that. Now, I'm married with three wonderful children, and I'm back in Little Rock giving back what was given to me." Mark is the YIP Program Coordinator for Bridge 2 Success in Southwest Little Rock.
Neighborhood Based Program
Anthony is the oldest of six children from a single parent household. When he was in the 10th grade, his mom found out he could only read on the level of a 2nd grader. He also had many behavior problems and difficulty learning in school. Anthony's teacher heard about the Neighborhood Based program at Inner City FutureNet and helped him get enrolled. "His self-esteem skyrocketed, and his academics improved." said his former program coordinator Mary Gardner. A few years later, he proudly walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma. Today, he has a family of his own and is a Market Manager at a major supermarket.
Summer Youth Employment Program
Ayika is a graduate of Little Rock Central High School where she graduated with honors. She was a member of the Principal's Cabinet. She participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program. Ayika is a graduate of Jackson State University with a degree in Health Education. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree from the University of Mississippi, where she also works as a social worker.