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Proud 2 Be Me

Washington Writers Academy

2011-12 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.

2010-11 Program Highlights

APRIL 2011

The youth continued to work on their community-service projects throughout the month of April. They continued to focus on giving back to their school and neighborhood. The students also began working on a school-wide campaign to bring down the number of office referrals throughout the school. They began working on a video to promote better behavior in the classrooms. The students are creating and starring in the video to help motivate other students in the school. It was a great example of the youth's taking initiative to make a positive change!

MARCH 2011

March proved to be a very busy month for Proud 2 Be Me - Washington! The month started off with the after school participants working on different community service projects. One of their goals was to clean up their classrooms and school in order to make it look nicer; something all students could be proud of! This month the students also focused on two life lessons, "The World Isn't Always Fair" and "Set Your Goals High." They continued to work on the life leessons and include them in their daily activities. Later, the participants also took a very fun trip to the Great Wolf Lodge. They were able to enjoy themselves while playing in the pools and on the water slides! A nice treat for all their hard work throughout the year!


Although the weather outside was frigid, the participants at Proud 2 Be Me - Washington stayed warm by participating in Taekwondo and their monthly mentoring sessions with the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders. The students were able to work on their Taekwondo skills and how to implement Derek Jeter's 10 Life Lessons into their everyday lives. The weather cooperated for one field trip, which was a visit to the Glass Society. The trip allowed the students to get in touch with their creative side. They all collaborated to work on a special project, and created a small light catcher. The after-school participants were all incredibly proud of their creation!


Once the participants returned from holiday break, they were ready to get right back into the swing of things. This month was dedicated to working on team-building skills. Through various activities, participants learned that they are a team and can accomplish much more when they work together than individually. The return of the school year also signaled the return of mentoring with the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders. The Leaders assisted after-school participants with their homework and enjoyed snacks together. After homework time was complete, they broke off into groups and were able to reacquaint themselves by playing board games. It was a great way to interact in smaller groups, and was a great time for some bonding.


The goal for the month of December was to give back to the community. Students spent time creating cards for the elderly, packaging canned goods and creating unique presents for their family members. The after-school participants enjoyed the opportunity to give back! For all their hard work, the after-school participants were rewarded with Turn 2's Holiday Express at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. The participants were able to enjoy a fun and exciting end to the year before going on break for the holiday season.


The month of November proved to be a very exciting month. It kicked off by taking another trip to the Adventure Center in Mattawan, Mich. The trips to the Adventure Center are such a valuable way to improve the group's team-building tools. The participants also began working on their community-service project for the program year, which is giving back to the parents of Proud 2 Be Me - Washington.


The program year started off with a bang at Proud 2 Be Me - Washington. With the introduction of 13 new after-school participants, the enthusiasm for the new school year was awesome! In October, participants went on a field trip to Nottawa Fruit Farms with the Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders. The students explored the farm, went through a hay bale maze and were able to take a pumpkin home with them. The students also participated in gymnastics at the Greater Kalamazoo World of Gymnastics. The opportunity was wonderful and new to many. The trips continued throughout the month as participants took part in a special trip to the Adventure Center in Mattawan, Mich. The students worked as a team to conquer the high rock-climbing walls!

2011-12 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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