Project Elevate is the brainchild of Akinee Harry. For those of you who may not yet be familiar with my name, I am a 25-year-old young adult author, and aspiring criminologist from Trinidad and Tobago.
I am a firm believer in the old saying, "to whom much is given, much is expected." While attending Presentation College San Fernando in my teenage years, I struggled with a host of behavioral problems (both violent and non-violent). This was as a result of numerous things such as peer influences, community influences and a number of personal situations going on at the time. At the age of 18 in 2014, while completing C.A.P.E. studies at Carapichaima East Secondary, I made a grave decision that altered the direction of my life. I was involved in a theft, which later resulted in me being arrested and charged for the offence. After witnessing the harsh realities of remand in the Golden Grove prison facility, I knew this was not what I wanted for my life.
I worked hard and tirelessly to change the direction my life was going. I attended the Univeristy of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) where I graduated with honours in Criminology and Public Safety and then UWI St. Augustine, where I am currently in the final stages of completing my MSc in Criminology & Criminal Justice. Sounds ironic right?
After my experiences with the Criminal Justice system in Trinidad and Tobago, I dedicated my life to helping at-risk young men. I traverse different communities and schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago where I share my testimony with young men, hoping to inspire them. I have also written my biography "Redirecting Fate- Rising Above My Troubled Past" to further inspire them.
I share this little story with you so that you can understand the importance and potential impact of Project Elevate. It is intended to be a mentorship program that addresses some of the most burning issues affecting our young men. Issues such as gang violence and substance abuse among others, would be explored.
I have decided to dedicate a significant portion of profits from my book sales to get this project off the ground, but I cannot do this alone as certain resources are needed! This is why I am asking you, Trinidad and Tobago to contribute whatever you can so that we can save our young men.
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