Jamila Banks smilingIt has been an honor to serve as the Leader for the Youth Leadership Fellowship Program for 2016. I am so thankful for the experience and opportunity to have been involved with such spiritually rewarding, heart felt work. The Youth Development Fellowship has been an incredible experience and journey that I was blessed to share with a great team, Susan, Chris, and Kehli. The power behind us all connecting from various parts of the world to find people “just like us”, “being the change” has been beyond rewarding. The success that I have seen not only from my own personal & professional growth, but from each of my colleagues, to each of our flow funds, has been tremendous, and moves me almost beyond words.

There is no tangible value for the voice we gave to the unheard and the unthanked who tirelessly serve youth and their communities day in and day out. It was a joy to see my fellows connect and form lasting professional bonds as well as deep, meaningful partnerships and friendships. Supporting grassroots work is never ending work, and most often those on the ground are the ones in need of the most resources. With our Flow Funds we were able to give everyday heros the boost and confidence to move forward with their work.

Being able to give much needed funds to local community change agents in my own back yard gives me hope for the restoration our of lost Family Villages. We have sewed seeds that have potential for a great harvest, watered with this great network that is TPP.

The Youth Leadership Fellowship Program created shared experiences, meaningful connections, partnerships with both individuals and organizations, and birthed a wealth of positive change and growth. I learned so much more about myself and own work by helping to invest in others dreams and works. This program enabled me to help host art workshops for underprivileged youth, book sales to help promote reading and literacy, and has connected me with other leaders from various parts of South Central, Los Angeles to each other. I got to fund some amazing work that impacts not only the dynamics of youth in the inner city, but the community at large. I can never thank TPP enough for entrusting me to help lead such an amazing, dynamic team and program. Thank you Alan C. Fox for believing in TPP and for believing in regular people striving for extraordinary change!

As an Alumni of the 2016 Youth Leadership Fellowship Program, and the Team Leader for 2017, I look forward to passing the torch to the new Fellows, and I’m excited to continue to share ideas, to learn and build together, and to continue to help create a more just and compassionate world for our future leaders.