UCAN of Memphis

#yesucan

Memphis, TN   |  www.ucanofmemphis.org

Mission

The mission of UCAN of Memphis is to impact young adolescents through mentoring, workforce readiness, and bullying awareness which will bring forth a positive growth in the community.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Ms. Leshundra Robinson

Main address

1779 Kirby Pkwy 1-318

Memphis, TN 38138 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

UCAN

EIN

20-3270324

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Provide career exploration training and skill development for high school students Provide a curriculum with coping skills for mental awareness, verbal communication skills and time management which we have seen these issues persist during the pandemic. Distribute medical and protective supplies, ie. sanitizing products and face mask for students Provide Virtual Learning Toolbox for students to help parents with school supplies and uniforms

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Blazers and Pearls

The Blazers and Pearls program offers low-income students ages 12-19 the opportunity to expand their horizons by empowering them to build positive self-respect through group mentoring in the Mid-South. Our focus is social emotional learning, conflict resolution and preparation for college and career readiness.
Our program include workshops with previous students from Shelby County Schools and Memphis Ambassador Program participants, focused on mentoring students, goal setting, bullying prevention, job readiness skills including interviewing techniques, dress for success, resume building, college application preparation, and sustaining employment through leadership. Our programs were successfully implemented at Manassas High School, Humes Academy, Grandview MS, Fairly HS, Hillcrest HS, Wooddale MS, Kirby MS and DuBois MS. Participating students are selected by counselors who determine that students meet all of the requirements: must maintain a cumulative minimum 2.5 GPA scale, and no serious disciplinary sanctions at their current school in the past 365 days.

We provided students with Blazers and Pearls to aid in their dress for success, and presentation when seeking interviews and employment. We purchased 100 blazers and 100 pearl necklaces for students over 2- year span, in partnership with the Wal-Mart Foundation.

We partnered with the Hollywood Library to provide students across the city with Teen Talk Sessions that featured various speakers from the community, informing them about such topics as birth control, college readiness, entrepreneurship, bullying awareness and leadership skills.


Under the Blazers and Pearls umbrella, UCAN of Memphis’ programming is broken down into three areas:
• Middle School – In-school mentoring, character building and bullying prevention
• High School – In-school mentoring, workforce/leadership development, soft skills training
• Summer Opportunities – Real Talk group discussions, the annual Dare 2 Dream Youth Conference

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Alliance for NonProfit Excellence 2015

MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership - Respondent 2016

Shelby County Juvenile Court 2016

Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who demonstrate that their school attendance has improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Adolescents

Related Program

Blazers and Pearls

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the pandemic, our in-school program decreased from 6 schools to 1 school virtually in 2020.

Number of student behavioral issues reported

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Adolescents

Related Program

Blazers and Pearls

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of participants changing undesirable behavior, as reported by experts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys

Related Program

Blazers and Pearls

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls, Men and boys, Adolescents

Related Program

Blazers and Pearls

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Due to the pandemic, we only had 1 middle school to participate in the in-school program.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The objective of UCAN of Memphis is to empower teens ages 12-19 through mentoring, personal development and education (including leadership development and bullying prevention) to bring positive growth in the North Memphis community. We have mentored and provided educational programs and career development services to students in low-income areas or those with behavioral issues to answer the difficulties students have retaining employment due to a lack of soft skills, leadership, positive self-respect, and lack of reinforcement. With our program, we will reduce gang violence and teenaged criminal activity in the North Memphis community and increase the number of teens successfully transitioning into the workforce or higher education through both anti-bullying leadership development and practical job skills and life skills training. We will measure the effectiveness of the program by analyzing the number of students enrolled, parent satisfaction survey, cost analysis, and engagement of student participation. Currently operating in five area schools, serving 100 students in each school, our goal for the next 3-5 years is to expand our program to additional schools and to provide an area Hub, or physical gathering space, where students in the program or who have gone through it can meet and mentor each other for continued support and development. In three years, we plan to graduate 95% of students from the program with 90% employment gain as well as the creation of student ambassadors to help with peer to peer training. We’ll measure the effectiveness from the first two years by the number of students enrolled, parent, student, and business owner’s satisfaction surveys, cost analysis, and student engagement. We’ll implement needed changes to the programs based upon the results of the measurements, then work to expand the target audience into other communities even as we continue working to engage partner organizations that have planned similar activities to ours. In addition, we’ll conduct media campaigns through newspaper, local radio, businesses, newsletters, parent mailings, and television. In five years, we plan to graduate 100% of students from our program with 98% employment gain as well as peer to peer training implemented in the schools as well as taking place at the Hub. We’ll measure effectiveness from the first four years by the number of students enrolled, parent, student, and business owners’ satisfaction surveys, cost analysis, and student engagement. We will define long-term success through school district measurements that demonstrate continued decreases in incidents of bullying and school offenses and by increased success rates among students in our program as assessed through yearly follow ups with former attendees.

UCAN of Memphis bullying program is a comprehensive, school-wide program that involves the entire school community in the form of school-wide interventions, classroom activities, and individual interventions. To reduce bullying, it is important to change the climate of the school and the social norms with regard to bullying. Through our mentoring program, we provide early intervention and prevention services to approximately 100 teenagers in middle and high school who are at risk of educational failure, teen pregnancy, truancy, and juvenile delinquency. Expected outcomes are improved academics, better school attendance rates, confidence in skills achieved, and the building of relationships. Students will also engage in community outreach through volunteerism efforts.Stop the Game bullying program partners with Pacer’s We Will Generation to help students and parents identify what is bullying and its behavior. School bullying statistics in the United States show that about one in four kids in the U.S. are bullied on a regular basis. We Will Generation is a curriculum designed for student leaders to engage, educate, and inspire other students to be a part of the We Will Generation.Upon entering each school, activities to be achieved in year one will include:· Establish an evaluation plan including identified data collection for formative and summative reports which will measure impact on bullying· Hold a kick-off event to launch the program· Post and enforce school-wide rules against bullying in each classroom· Deliver curriculum in classrooms and involve parents· Coordinate and host parent evening/poster exhibit· Hold regular class meetings to discuss bullying and other social-emotional learning topics as well as address the effects of bullying on bystanders· Supervise students’ activities: vision boards, theater play, conference, workshops, etc.· Guide teachers in presenting social-emotional learning exercises in their classrooms. In these developmental asset-based activities, students recognize their personal strengths and how they can apply these in school and support the assets of other students.

The Board of Directors for UCAN of Memphis brings valuable skills and experience to manage, install, and deliver the program in area schools. Our board chair is an accounting professional who provides individual tax consulting and preparation and serves as our financial director. Our administrative assistant has been working with youths for 30 years as a counselor, after care coordinator, and has served as the vice president of the PTA at her son’s school. Our marketing coordinator also has experience as an entrepreneur and our founder and program director has been operating and developing the program since 2006. We have list internal resources – workbooks, handouts, sample rules, other elements that contribute toward delivering the program. We also have donated furniture to populate the Hub once the appropriate building is found and acquired. Our current operating budget is $103,200. We have received funding in the amount of $50,000 from the City of Memphis and other funding from donations, program fees and other grants. We currently have 1 staff member and 3 volunteers to help sustain the program. In addition, we have partnered with Pacer’s We Will Generation, Nucor Steel, Neighborhood Christian Center, Camp Hope, Youth Villages, and Dress for Success in either direct collaboration on projects to improve teen workforce readiness and reduce school bullying or for financial support of the program. We were also recognized in the Tri-State Defender, the Daily News, Commercial Appeal, Black Celebrity Giving, and RSVP Magazine. We are always open to pursuing additional collaborations and partnerships as well.

*Ninety-five percent (95%) of our mentees attend college or trade school after graduation (as reported by the schools).
*With your assistance we were able to continue reaching our goals to provide students in a virtual learning environment keeping them involved and surrounded by positivity. Although our 2020 class ended abruptly, we were still able to provide a virtual graduation with J. Penelope as our guest speaker for all 86 students in our 6 schools. As their graduation gift we delivered their laptops, pearls and their graduation certificate.
*We were able to conduct interviews and workshops on leadership, bullying and mental awareness all using the interactive zoom tool and producing it on YouTube. We were still able to invest into over 1,300 youth through social media, emails, phone calls and of course social distancing activities.
*We were able to provide our current students with virtual learning toolbox that included a gift card, books, school supplies, headphones, jump drive and much more valued at $100.
*Middle scholars receive laptops and gift cards after graduation funded by donations, local government and community grants.
*With the help of local government grant funding from City of Memphis and Shelby County Government as well as funding from community grants and donations, we have been able to increase our in-school participation from 2 schools to 6 schools, with an average of 13 students per school. We have also been able to increase student and workshop participation from 250 to 6,000 students over a 4-year span.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve middle and high school students in underserved communities.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Due to the pandemic, we changed the way we gather information to make it more accessible for our families. We adjusted our program to implement more mental awareness and conflict resolutions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It strengthen their relationship to be pleased that we were aware of the needs of the community.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

UCAN of Memphis
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

UCAN of Memphis

Board of directors
as of 11/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Dominique Taylor

V. Lynn Evans

Term: 2019 - 2021

Dominique Taylor

V. Lynn Evans

Nadia Perry

Comcast

Kesha Whitaker

Shelby County Government

Charlotte Marks

Terminix

Mia Hamilton

Power School

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/02/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/02/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.