Building Powerful Minds


Vernon and his law partner Johnathan Ross developed BPM with an emphasis on the core principles of God, Family, Education and Community. The essential aim of the program is to instill the correct mindset in each youth that will drive them to success as individuals and passionate commitment to their communities. BPM employs a “from all angles” approach to empowering youth. This approach includes: Individualized Tutoring Each youth is paired with a well-qualified tutor to boost their performance in academic areas that they are weak in. The dedicated volunteer core of BPM tutors includes engineers, teachers, attorneys and small business owners. Each child receives academic help at his own pace. Mentoring In all BPM sessions our youth around surrounded by a large number of positive, educated, successful black men. These men coach, encourage, push and inspire the youth to grow into dedicated husbands, fathers and community leaders. These mentors also perform in school visits between BPM sessions to ensure that the youth are adhering to BPM principles while on campus. Academic Incentives BPM provides a wide range of monetary incentives for excellence in academics. After every 9 weeks each child’s grades are reviewed and at that point those kids maintaining honor roll grades or demonstrating substantial academic improvement, are rewarded with cash and other prizes. Those who are not performing up to their potential, face a wide range of punishments. Many of the BPM youth consistently bring home all A’s and B’s as well as having excellent conduct while in school. Reverse Peer Pressure BPM started with only two youth and was expanded very slowly. This was done to ensure that the desired mindset and culture of respect and discipline was instilled in the core group before additional youth were bought in. By doing this the sought inner-group culture was established and all new youth quickly felt the pressure and push to conform to the set pattern of respect and to (at least temporarily) abandon any habits of disrespect, rudeness and misbehavior. It is not uncommon to hear BPM youth challenge one another concerning academic performance or African History knowledge, this is the type of peer pressure that is needed in the black community and that is being developed in BPM. Physical Tests and Training In order to build character, strength and determination BPM employs a host of grueling physical exercises and training regiments. Teenage youth get advanced weight-room training while younger youth focus on calisthenics. ALL youth compete in wrestling, basketball and other sports. This training has multiple purposes. It teaches work ethic and grit but can also be used as punishment for youth who don’t live up to the BPM standard. Intense Black History Education At every BPM session the youth receive a 15-25 minute lecture on a topic in Black/African history. The lecture is given in a way that ties that history into lessons that can be applied today. This is done based on the belief that “A man who doesn’t know his history is like a tree without roots”-Marcus Garvey


Jacksonville, Florida
United States

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