East End Cooperative Ministry SAVED MY LIFE.
My name is Tayon Mitchell, and I am a minister and accomplished businessman. After several years in the insurance and finance services field, I started my own company. Based on my life as a child, I never thought that I would be where I am today. My middle school experience 25 years ago helped get me here.
EECM came right on time for me.
In middle school, it was too dangerous to play outside. I grew up between two different gang turfs and the violence was really bad. I had to be careful with what colors I wore depending on which street I was on at a given time. Without intervention, I probably would have bent under peer pressure and gone down a dangerous path. EECM gave me a safe place to learn, grow, and just be myself.
I joined EECM’s Homework Club, an after-school program that was a combination of homework help, recreational time, and life skills development. In the life skills portion, we had to perform skits. These skits would be about drug and gang prevention, picking healthy friendships, and resolving conflicts without “coming to fisticuffs.” Even though these skits were outside of my comfort zone, they really did help with learning these life skills and boosting my confidence.
The biggest thing EECM gave us was consistency. They were always there, helping us reset. My counselor Terry (in the picture below on the right) was with me every step of the way. He would visit my group during lunch at school and just chatted with us and reinforced what we learned in the Homework Club. I liked to joke with my friends and say that he was my agent. Later in life, I learned that Terry regularly talked with my parents and teachers to make sure I was a successful student.
I would not be where I am today without EECM.
I am extremely proud that EECM still maintains the same staff that counseled me. I recently texted Terry, thanking him for being there in my life. He is still at EECM working with the next generation.
Please help those to experience what I have by giving a gift of hope and transformation.