Totally Positive Productions

Let Positivity Engage our Youth!

aka TPP   |   CHICAGO, IL   |  http://www.totallypositiveproductions.com

Mission

The mission of Totally Positive Productions (TPP) is to produce positive rap, singing, dance, theater and spoken word talent competitions, as well as produce positive "off the street" activities for youths and adults ages seven and up as a deterrent to drug and gang involvement.

Ruling year info

1995

Founder and Executive Director`

Mr. Tajudeena Lee Jones

Main address

7157 S. PRINCETON AVENUE

CHICAGO, IL 60621 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3984168

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Performing Arts (A60)

Other Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness, and Relief N.E.C. (M99)

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

The urgent need that is addressed by Totally Positive Productions is the increasing number of youth at risk of being recruited into a life of crime and drugs especially in Englewood, West Englewood, Back of the Yards, and surrounding neighborhoods. The crime rate in Englewood neighborhood is number one in Chicago, and Englewood remains one of the neighborhoods with the highest level of poverty. As a result, many of the youth ages seven (7) and up are in danger of joining gangs and being introduced to a life of crime and drugs. The youth centers in the neighborhood are few and cannot accommodate the growing number of students and the after-school programs at the public school level are also almost nonexistent in this community as most schools’ budgets have been cut over the years. Totally Positive Productions’ program benefits youth and young adults ages seven (7) and up from African American and Latino/Hispanic ethnicities, usually drawn from neighborhoods in Englewood.

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?

Community Works Crime Prevention

The Program teaches crime prevention strategies and tips to youth ages 7-25 using lessons we developed from The National Crime Prevention Council’s curriculum best practices. Each training session has an average of 75 youth and young adults attending, and we operate a minimum of two (2) sessions per year. The youth learn about the different types of crimes, the consequences of crime, conflict management strategies, how crime affects communities, and what community prevention programs and services are available to them.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Young adults
Adolescents

We take youth and their parents (as chaperones) on an average of two field trips during the months and weekends when children are out of school and can find themselves tempted to engage in gang-related or other destructive activities. We deliberately attend places like Navy Pier and the Medieval Times Dinner which are relatively far from the South Side neighborhoods, and would otherwise be inaccessible to the families we serve. Importantly, these activities are also fun and engaging – effective substitutes for the activities our participants might otherwise be involved with. Youths and adults are given the chance to experience various attractions and activities with admission, transportation, and gift bags provided to each participant free of charge by Totally Positive Productions.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Families
Adolescents
Adults

The Talent Competition Series is a competition series that involves monthly competitions with youth and young adults from urban neighborhoods competing for major prizes. The competitions begin by conducting auditions and recruiting between 10 and 15 of the best act/group or acts to perform as new “TALENT” in a special performance, open to the public at the end of the month. TPP provides positive outlets for these young talents to help them to realize their potential and show them there is more to life than drugs, gangs, crime and violence. After the recruitment, TPP’s skilled volunteers and staff work with the selected youth and young adults to improve their level of performance by recommending presentations and delivery to prepare them for the thematic competitions and public performances. helped with phrasing; no sexually explicit language or profanity is allowed; only positive rap directed to the theme.

Population(s) Served

This project involves teaching the youth how to print out, fold and prepare the Crime Prevention Brochures (Youth and Adult Versions). The Adult Versions is usually given to School Faculty/Parents while the Youth Versions to students. These brochures help to create conversations on crime prevention and help bridge the gap between Youth and Adults, especially when dealing with crime prevention. This is a creative approach that Totally Positive Productions uses to address crime-prevention in the communities.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

Totally Positive Productions provides meals to youth and young adults who participate in our program sessions. The youth and young adults are usually drawn from low-income and disadvantaged communities which are characterized by single parents who must work (mostly minimum-wage jobs) to make ends meet as they are heads of their families. We understand that these conditions may force some of the youth to skip meals and TPP comes in to fill that hunger gap with our programs.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Children
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Children
Families

The Love Your Community Program was a part of our Community Outreach Initiative of Random Acts of Kindness. We distributed over 10,500 bouquet of Flowers and 1200 Vases over an 18 month period. The sponsors for this event were ProFlowers, a flower delivery service previously located in Woodridge, Illinois, who now reside in Downers Grove, Illinois.

Population(s) Served
Caregivers
Widows and widowers

The Adult Employment and Training Program targets Chicagoland adults from communities that have been the hardest-hit by violence. The adults are usually provided with temporary, full-time employment for a period of 3-6 months at Totally Positive Productions with the aim of achieving these documented outcomes: violence prevention, a reduction in risky behavior, and increase in educational achievement. Preference is usually given to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligible adults, adults on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), adults in foster care, and court-involved adults.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Parents
Adults
Parents

The Youth Employment and Training Program targets Chicagoland youth from communities that have been the hardest-hit by violence. The youth are usually provided with temporary, full-time employment at Totally Positive Productions with the aim of achieving these documented outcomes: violence prevention, a reduction in risky behavior, and increase in educational achievement. Preference is usually given to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligible youth, youth on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), youth in foster care, and court-involved youth.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Preteens

Where we work

Awards

2020 Top-Rated Non-profits 2020

Great Nonprofits

Affiliations & memberships

Urban Awareness 2020

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 free participants on field trips

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

Adolescents, Families, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Adults

Related Program

Educational/Cultural Enrichment Field Trips

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of hours of coaching

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of competition entrants

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

Adults, Children and youth, Families, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Talent Competitions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Totally Positive Productions on average hosts two Talent Competitions each year. We receive entrants from the entire greater Midwest area, from Chicagoland to Detroit, Michigan.

Number of students enrolled in service-learning courses

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

Adolescents, Young adults, At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Service Learning Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 overall goal of our organization is to contribute to the elimination and prevention of crime in Englewood neighborhoods through improved access to high-quality opportunities among youth and young adults.

To achieve the above goal, our organization is guided by the following objectives:
1. To reduce the number of young people at risk of engaging in gang violence in Englewood neighborhoods.
2. To increase diversion opportunities and initiatives for youth at risk of gang involvement in Englewood neighborhoods.
3. To increase access to core work skills development opportunities for youth and young adults at risk of gang involvement in Englewood neighborhoods.
4. To empower youth and young adults at risk to make well-informed choices about education, training and career plans.
5. To strengthen community collaborations and partnerships in Chicago to ensure youth and young adults at risk have access to marketable competency-based training courses.


Through our programs, we hope to improve the quality of lives of youth in economically disadvantaged communities by minimizing youth involvement in drugs, violence and gang-related activities with this project. Our programs also assist youth in their school curriculum by increasing their reading, writing, comprehensive skills and help the youth obtain a better grade in their school curriculum. In addition, we are able to create working relationships with school officials, education administrators, youth service organizations and others to obtain their commitment towards participating in our programs. This enables the youth to feel confident working with stakeholders in the community and encourages them to continuously participate in community initiatives and avoid getting involved with criminal gangs.

Our youth are also able to work temporary or full-time hence gaining employability skills that will enable them to get jobs beyond the program. Since most of the youth come from single-parent families who have to work extra hours to make a living, our programs ease the burden of these families by providing extra-income to sustain their livelihood.

Totally Positive Productions (TPP) provides a positive impact on youth and adult participants by engaging them in healthy and supportive activities within their communities.

TPP helps youth and adults to improve the quality of life by helping them replace negative attitudes about life and their communities with positive, constructive attitudes that can help them thrive despite their environment.

Mobilizing Communities and Partnerships - By forming partnerships with educational and institutions, community agencies and organizations, and the community at large, to improve the quality of life for minority youth and adults.

Increasing Knowledge and Awareness - to effect change in the attitudes of minority youth and adults regarding violence, abuse and unhealthy behaviors through a comprehensive program of support, education and employment opportunities.

Involve parent(s) in activities to promote their understanding of fostering enhanced interaction with their children.

Through a generous grant provided by Nordstrom, TPP has been able to provide several youth with clerical and administrative based jobs, which helps cultivate valuable long-term skills, and enhance their problem solving and communication skills as well.

Totally Positive Productions’ board has eleven (11) members who jointly supervise the organization’s programs and services. Having been raised in this community, the board members have first-hand experience in solving the challenges that face the community. Some of the board members have also served in various capacities such as After-School Teachers, Director-Allen Show Entertainment Network and Chicago Department of Human Services and as such, provide experiences that are critical to our programs and services. The Executive Director and the board members meet on a quarterly basis to discuss operational issues in the organization and they get a chance to vote on the organization’s issues as necessary for implementation.

TPP staff is composed of 2 full-time staff, 3 part-time staff and 6 volunteers. The team includes young adults who act as mentors and role models for our youth. The daily operations of Totally Positive Productions is managed by the Executive Director, Mr. Tajudeena Jones, MBA, who possesses over 15 years of management experience in social services. He provides overall administrative guidance to the staff and program. The Executive Director also serves as the intermediary between the program and the governing Board of Directors for Totally Positive Productions (TPP) Inc.

2021 marks our 28th year anniversary in providing services to youth and adults in economically disadvantaged communities throughout Chicago-land and abroad. During these 28 years, we have served over 30,000 youth, adults and families, most with an annual income of less than $10,000. TPP has offered and provided free services to youth and adults from low-income families. To name a few, TPP provides the following projects/activities on an ongoing basis:

1. After-school/weekend service-learning projects
2. TPP Community Works Crime Prevention Program
3. Essay and presentation competitions
4. Spoken Word Competition
5. Positive Rap, Singing and Dance Talent Competitions
6. Entertainment Workshop
7. Education Resources and Referrals
8. Dental Smile Program
9. Free Cultural and Enrichment Trips
10. Youth and Adult Summer Employment and Training Program
11. Community Service Hours (Chicago Public Schools and Court System)
12. Love Your Community Campaign

Partnerships, Collaborations and Connections
Thomas Higgins Community Academy - TPP took 67 students and 10 adults to Navy Pier to ride Centennial Wheel and TPP fed everyone and gave out gift bags to each student. In addition, TPP provided 279 students with Youth Version Crime Prevention Brochures and 32 staff with Adult Crime Prevention Brochures for a total of 331 Brochures. Overall, TPP served 388 students in a (May-June 2019) timeframe.
Totally Positive Productions distributed Oglesby Elementary School Youth Crime Prevention Brochures to 438 students and 63 staff received Adult/Youth Crime Prevention Brochures. In overall, TPP served 501 youth, young adults and their families.
Community Partner - Teamwork Englewood (Summer Employment Program Host Agency)
TPP conducted its first international meeting with 26 students and 2 professors from Venus, Mexico (2018)
Greater West Town Training Partnership - TPP began partnering with Greater West Town Community Development Project in 2018 and in support of referral youth and young adults to receive training and employment opportunities. GWTP’s mission is to develop model programs and policy initiatives linking the employment and training of neighborhood workforce with local economic development efforts and the needs of small and mid-sized employers. Therefore, they are key in supporting the youth employment and training activities.
WKKC Radio Station continues to support Totally Positive Productions by running radio advertisements. Also, we have a real good relationship with the Station Manager that any upcoming events/activities that we want to get the message out to the public, they will create radio commercials free of charge. WKKC listening reach is approximately 600,000.
Other institutions that TPP has continued to collaborate and partner with include: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), Children’s Home + Aid, Changing Life Education Initiative, K.L.E.O., Christ Center of Truth Ministries, Lubaa, Imagine Englewood If (IEI), R.A.G.E and St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church and Gorilla Tango Theatre.

Awards and recognitions
1. 2021 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits.
2. 2020 Gold Seal of Transparency on GuideStar.
3. 2020 Top-Rated Nonprofits by GreatNonprofits.
4. 2019 Best of Chicago Awards - Non-Profit Category.
5. Awarded Google Adwords Grant ($10,000 per month value) in 2018.

TPP’s plan is to continue engaging 300 young people annually through leveraging on our joint activities involving working with the community members to ensure that we respond to their needs. This involvement will ensure that the community members own the project. We will collaborate with locally available initiatives and/or professional industry experts who are willing to mentor our young people, provide opportunities for growth within their networks and help them improve their skills and talents. This will ensure the networks continue to support young people within the communities.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Youth and young adults: our programs serve a minimum of 300 participants each year comprising of young people ages 7-25 from African American and Latino/Hispanic ethnicities. The participants are usually drawn from neighborhoods in Englewood, West Englewood and Back of the Yards which are high-crime communities that include many young people who are involved in violence and gang-related activities.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

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

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, 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,

  • 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?

    During the implementation of our programs, all program leaders, staff and the young people we serve meet on a monthly basis to exchange ideas and think critically about issues and concerns youth, young adults and families have identified as being important to them. All organizations and community resource people we work with in our programs also present any feedback or comments to Totally Positive Productions. Through this evaluation process, we measure the youth and young adults’ participation, from the start of the program until its entirety. The systematic evaluation by TPP helps the organization to identify continuous quality improvement.

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

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, 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, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Totally Positive Productions
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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.

Totally Positive Productions

Board of directors
as of 11/8/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Tajudeena Jones

Totally Positive Productions

Term: 2014 -


Board co-chair

Mr. Allen Martin

Allen Showcase

Term: 2015 -

Roberta Lockett-Collins

Christ Center of Truth Ministries

Juanita Jones

55th Street Community Group

Betty Jones

Ann Bailey

Anthony Johnson

Cordaro Johnson

Mary Turner

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 ? 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/06/2021

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
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with 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: 11/06/2021

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 analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • 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.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • 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.