Soar To Your Highest Potential

Chester, NJ   |


At Platinum Minds, our vision is that boys from different circumstances and economically challenged neighborhoods can and should have equal opportunities to achieve their full academic potential. Our nation could greatly benefit from developing talent from a broader population pool and having these educated individuals contribute to making our communities and society a better place to live for all. We feel so strongly that we've made it our mission. Platinum Minds is a non-profit, educational, and leadership development organization. We provide academically motivated boys from disadvantaged, low-income backgrounds (i) a strong literacy program for students (grades 1-5) and (ii) assistance in secondary school placement, educational mentoring, and leadership development (grades 6-12).

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Yvette Long

Main address

95 West Main St Suite 5-166

Chester, NJ 07930 USA

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NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Arete Leaders Monthly Workshops

Monthly workshops that develop leadership skills, provides educational support and guidance, along with life skills, college prep, and community engagement through teaching entrepreneurial-ship and the importance of developing community programs, to enhance those not as fortunate. Too many young men drop out or fail out before they understand their role in making their communities a better place.

Population(s) Served

Assist younger boys in grades 1 to 5 with reading comprehension and fluency.
In Grades 1-5 reading is fundamental. Studies indicate that when students get off to a poor start in reading, they rarely catch up. In 2009, Platinum Minds launched its Frederick Douglass reading program initiative. Platinum Mind scholars work with small groups of elementary age boys in 90-minute sessions each Saturday morning from 10am to 11:30am for 10-12 weeks as mentors. The program has been successful in improving reading and helping boys to become better listeners and students.

Population(s) Served

Every summer, we work to place our students in interesting programs in which they can explore new activities, experience the out-of-doors, and have fun! Summer camp programs in such disciplines as science and mathematics have been offered to students wishing to learn in these fields. Many of these camps incorporate academics, leadership development, health, and life skills. Participants receive instruction in a variety of sports, not traditionally offered in urban settings. They learn about the rules of the game, etiquette, sportsmanship, positive attitudes, fair play, self-esteem, taking responsibility for choices, and management of emotions. These life skills are integrated throughout the program, and instructors routinely demonstrate how they apply to real-world situations. They learn to communicate and get along with people from all over the world. Nutrition and healthy lifestyles are stressed both in the classroom setting, as well as on the field.

Population(s) Served

Our scholarship program provides deserving students an opportunity to attend top-tier, private secondary and parochial schools through a competitive selection process. Those who are awarded the scholarship are placed in exceptional education institutions throughout New Jersey.

Population(s) Served

Program connects students with individuals who serve to assist them as they go through their adolescent years.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

1. To enable scholars in our program access to academic support that enhances their ability to graduate from high school and attend an institution of higher learning.

2. To enable scholars to develop a suit of practical life skills that result in personal characteristics that strengthen their leadership skills and motivate them to take action to enhance themselves and their community

3. Scholars apply their academic, personal and leadership skills gained by taking action to improve their community.

Platinum Minds believes that by developing the leadership skills of intelligent boys it can help its scholar’s transition into young men who can be productive and effective members in our society. Platinum Minds uses a grassroots path to instill change by encouraging scholars to utilize their gifts, talents, and skills to be positive role models to other young men in their schools and communities, today and into the future.

Platinum Minds accomplishes its mission through a comprehensive and proactive set of initiatives both in and out of the classroom that:

• Provide scholars access to better educational opportunities.
• Enable scholars to gain the knowledge and skills that will help unlock their potential and become effective members of society.
• Empower scholars to become active in their high schools and communities today and into the future.

Platinum Minds has implemented four specific programs that are designed to develop a scholar’s knowledge, self-confidence and leadership skills, through engagement in learning opportunities, mentoring, educational opportunities, developing skills in communication, public speaking, financial literacy, writing and entrepreneurship and fostering community engagement.

The day-to-day operations of Platinum Minds are run by the Executive Director, Yvette Long. In addition to the Executive Director, the Operations Manager, David Messineo coordinates the program’s operations and provides assistance to Mrs. Long as needed. Platinum Minds has an Advisory Board consisting of three members who provide the strategic guidance on the program.

Platinum Minds implements its program using its strong volunteer network and partner organizations. Volunteers come from a cross-section of disciplines and geographic areas that include Scholar mentors, website developers, data managers, and fundraisers and grant writers. Technical resources are also sourced from partner organizations that include; the Boys Scouts of America; United Way; Mentoring Coalition; Neighborhood Coalition, Morristown; Presbyterian Church, Morristown; Atone Lutheran Church, Asbury Park and; Young Scholars organization, Trenton. To date, over 20 schools participate in Platinum Mind Programs and we have secured agreements with 4 private schools to provide subsidized fees for our scholar program.

Between 2007 and 2011, Platinum Minds has invested over $ 300,000 to support over 300 young men covering Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey that includes:

• Over 100 through our Entrepreneur Leadership Symposiums.
• Over 80 through our Frederick Douglass Reading Programs in Morristown and Newark.
• Approximately 30 as “Platinum Minds Scholars”, benefitting from school tuition, summer camp, and additional programs.

Platinum Minds uses a results-based approach to measure its progress at the programmatic and individual levels. To date, the program has focused on short-term (output-based) measures and mid-term measures (outcomes) to monitor its progress.

While the initial results of the Program are promising, Platinum Minds is developing a more rigorous set of indicators that would measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the program in terms cost and results. A detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan is being finalized. The monitoring program will expand the use of survey tools to measure an individual scholars’ progress as well as get stakeholder inputs of the program’s effectiveness.

In the short-term, successful scholars should demonstrate increased community involvement, improved grades, enhanced leadership skills, a broadened world view, and increased confidence and public speaking skills.

• To date over 95% of our participants maintained at least a B average throughout the academic year, and we were able to reduce the truancy rate of these students to 0%. We have witnessed a fundamental change in our students from when they started our program, and after the second year of being a part of our Leadership Development Program. 98% of the students show increased interest, awareness, and hands-on experience in leadership and community related activities.

The medium term outcomes expected from a successful program are that scholars pursue an education beyond high school, believe they are valuable members of society, have a planned career path, view themselves as leaders, and demonstrate a desire to give back to their communities.

• Within the last two years, the first batch of scholars has graduated out of the program (14 scholars) and all of them have pursued a tertiary education.
• All of the graduating scholars have received either partial of full scholarships to pursue their higher education goals. The eight graduating scholars in 2013 have received a total of $800,000 support for the next four years.

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

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback



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


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 09/01/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Janaka DeSilva

The Gackstatter Foundation

Term: 2012 - 2015

Berit Stover

Mt. Holyoke College

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No