PEN DMV-The Mission

Greetings From the Executive Director

Minister David Street
In 2017 P.E.N DMV set out on a very ambitious mission to do the following: 1) Increase the number of youth we serve 2) Develop new partnerships, and 3) Increase our visibility within the DMV region.
What we enjoy most about our work are the many interactions with the young women and men we serve and the opportunity to celebrate them and their accomplishments. Each day we set out to help them develop the character and skills required to soar in life.
This newsletter is our first attempt to highlight the milestone we have experienced thus far in 2017. As you flip through the pages, you will discover all the possibilities that exists when potential is nurtured. You will learn about our programs, current partnerships, and see the power of our “Passport to Manhood” summits that has touched over 150 young people this year in D.C. alone.

I want to thank each and every one of you reading our newsletter. Please feel free to make a donation, volunteer, or simply show us some love on social media. Whatever action you take that helps our cause, we are truly grateful! I leave you with these words “ Our youth must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

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PEN DMV Discusses Local and International Opportunities with Dept of State

On May 3, 2018, PEN DMV convened a meeting of local leaders at the Department of State to discuss how we can connect local and international opportunities for youth engagement and development. Attendees included Andy Ravens, Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues, of the U.S. State Department. Leaders will continue the conversations during bi-monthly meetings. The hope is to have young people from PEN DMV join the international conversation as well.

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Spring Forward with PEN DMV

On February 28th, 2018, PEN DMV hosted its second girls summit for young ladies of Dunbar High School at Busboys and Poets. The summit focused on social media and leadership in the areas of branding, conflict resolution (internet bullying), and confidence. Girls were led by a panel of speakers including Candyce Jones and Pinky Killa Corn. In an age when young people utilize social media as a diary and entrepreneur pursuits, it’s increasingly important to teach them how to use it positively.

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PEN DMV is Expanding


If you look around D.C., you will notice that fall is here and a new holiday season is upon us. Holiday seasons are often a time for giving, celebration and reflection. This month P.E.N DMV is celebrating our first out of town “Passport to Manhood Leadership Summit” which we collaborated with the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City! Nearly 40 7th and 8th grade students participated in our social media leadership summit and talks are underway to possibly do a follow up summit in NYC spring of 2018.

In addition, on November 29th we will be doing our second summit with the 11th and 12TH grade guys from Dunbar Sr. High School. The summit which will be hosted at the Capital One Center (former Verizon Center) will focus on social media and workforce development. D.C. City Councilmember Trayon White will give a Ted Talk and UDC Workforce Development will do a presentation on apprenticeship and workforce opportunities.

Also, we continue to partner with Boys and Girls Clubhouse #15 which is located on Benning Rd every other Thursday. Our next session will take place on December 1st, 2017. These sessions allow us to go deep on issues such as conflict resolution, goal setting, community advocacy and leadership development. These sessions run from 6pm-7:30pm. Feel free to stop by.

Lastly, we are in our final fundraising push for the year, we have raised over 10k this year but we would like to finish strong! Please donate using the electronic link provided.

Thank you and God Bless.


Passport to Manhood Summit 2017

On September 28th, PEN DMV hosted their first Passport to Manhood Summit of the school year at Busboys and Poets.

The program hosted 40 young men from Dunbar High School for an afternoon with Community Activist, Tony Lewis Jr. and CEO, Candyce Jones. Tony Lewis Jr. discussed mass incarceration, drug use, and gentrification in Black communities. He also shared his personal story. Candyce Jones followed up with a discussion about the influence of social media, and how to use it wisely.

This event was described as “amazing.”. In addition to Lewis and Jones, the students had the opportunity to hear from Cameron Brannin, PEN DMV’s Program Manager and Dunbar alum. He emphasized, “life never gives you what you want. It only gives you what you fight for.”

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Partnership Spotlight: Boys & Girls Clubhouse #14

Since PEN DMV’s inception, they have held a longstanding relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, Clubhouse #14, facilitating the local Passport to Manhood Program. Passport to Manhood is a national Club of American program. Locally the program runs bi-weekly mentoring sessions with high school males. Rashanna Roach had an opportunity to sit down with Shawn Osbourne, Branch Director, and Kiyah Hollowman, Program Director, to discuss this partnership, its impact, and hopes for the future.

In the beginning: The partnership began in 2012 informally with David Street hosting a book drive. After success of the book drive, Shawn asked David to become involved with the Passport to Manhood program. The program was virtually dormant after a spout with high turnover rates for facilitators. David brought the consistency and stability the program needed to reboot. Under David’s leadership and PEN DMV’s inception, the Passport to Manhood Program has grown.

Now and The Impact: PEN DMV has “taken our program and moved it beyond these walls,” says Shawn, by utilizing its network to introduce new faces and opportunities to mentees. The bi-weekly meetings offer the young men an outlet to express their feelings in a safe and constructive environment with a diverse panel of role models, specifically black professionals.Shawn and Kiyah agree that “it’s more impactful for them to hear from a new voice and a diversity of voices.” PEN DMV has inspired youth to think beyond their neighborhoods and the steps needed to succeed. For example, one of the young men who has attended Passport for the past two years is now an employee at clubhouse #14 and co-facilitating the program. The mentoring sessions has taught him soft skills and polished him. Shaw also notes the opportunities for youth to speak at conferences and the improved communication with parents as successes of the partnership with PEN DMV.

The Future: The future is bright for this partnership. PEN DMV has expanded their reach to young ladies in the Smart Girls program and will take 5 young men to New York City for the Passport to Manhood Leadership Summit in collaboration with the Harlem Children’s Zone. PEN DMV also hopes to continue to utilize its network to increase funding opportunities for the partnership. In 2015 PEN DMV and Clubhouse #14 partnered with the John Wall Foundation which was instrumental in making the program stronger and augmenting it to add a college tour and a trip to New York. Both partners would like to make these and similar activities annual and a part of the yearly curriculum.With all of the new ventures, PEN DMV will also bring on new volunteers (that’s one way you, the reader, can become involved!) to facilitate a session or become a consistent role model for the young men and now young ladies.

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