Thursday, July 12, 2012

YMI Annual Cookout

Youth Matter's 2nd annual cookout willl be held Sunday, September 2, 2012. Please mark your calendars and save the date. All of our programs, friends, family, and community supporters will be in attendance. Donations are accepted, as well as anything other contributions, such as: snacks, drinks, meats, etc. Last year was a success, and we hope for this year to be even bigger!

Sapphires Soaring

Our Youth Matter, Inc.'s very own, Sapphire cheer leader, Demesha Daniels is not only a Sapphire, but an Oscar Smith Tiger now as well. Demesha tried out for the Oscar Smith Middle School (Chesapeake, Va) cheer squad, and she made the team. We are proud of you Demesha!

Sapphire Boot Camp and Try Outs

From July 9 through August 15, boot camp and tryouts for our Sapphire Cheerleaders will be held. We encourage any young girls of ages 5 to 14 to come and attend. All prior Sapphire cheer leaders will have to pay a registration fee of $10 and all new interested girls will have to pay a fee of $15. Boot camp will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Vision Centre 1 at Mt. Sinai Church in downtown Portsmouth (Portsmouth, Va). The boot camp isn't only for those that plan to become a Sapphire, but those that just want conditioning and cheer leading training.

Little Miss Alpha Chi

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. (Alpha Chi Chapter) hosted their Little Miss Alpha Chi Pageant 2012 on June 22, 2012. The pageant highlights youth and the positive things they are doing. Our very own Youth Matter, Inc. Sapphire cheer leaders were a part of the pageant. They performed various cheers during the middle and end of the pageant. Also, one of our Sapphire cheer leaders, Miss Jordan Holley, was a participant in the pageant.

Sapphire Graduation

The Youth Matter, Inc. Sapphire cheer leaders 6th grade class officially graduated from Lakeview Elementary School in Portsmouth, Va on June 5, 2012. There were 12 graduates that will be moving on to the new journey of middle school. A great citizen of the city of Portsmouth heard that we wanted to treat the graduates, and he donated the funds for Youth Matter to treat the girls the next day to Pizza Hut for a graduation dinner. We are so proud of them!

Sapphire Car Wash

The Youth Matter, Inc. Sapphire cheer leaders held their first car wash on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Within just a two hour span, the girls, coaches, and other staff and volunteers washed 25-30 cars. Numerous donations were accepted, and most importantly, the girls enjoyed themselves. they made car wash posters prior to the car wash, and hundreds of flyers were distributed all over the area. The car wash was held at Title Max, on Western Branch Blvd. in Chesapeake, Va.

2012 Memorial Day Parade

The Youth Matter Inc. youth ambassadors and Sapphire cheer leaders were a part of the annual Portsmouth Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2012. Portsmouth, Va hosts the nation's oldest annually held Memorial Day parade. Eight of our past and present ambassadors rode on top of convertibles with their sash and crowns on, waving to the thousands alongside streets. Thirty plus cheer leaders walked the route in cheer leading position cheering chants and cheers along the way.

Umoja Festival

On May 26, the Sapphire cheer leaders performed at the Umoja Festival in Portsmouth, Va during Kid's Corner. Umoja means Unity; the Umoja Festival is a free African American culture and heritage festival promoting cultural diversity and unity. This year, Portsmouth hosted its 22nd annual festival.

Community Block Party

On May 19, 2012, the Youth Matter, Inc. Sapphire cheer leaders traveled to Suffolk, VA to perform at East End Baptist Church’s annual community Block Party. There were about 30 girls in attendance to perform on that day. The block party consisted of: health screenings, faith witnessing and testimonies, food and clothe give a-ways. There was also popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, food, and fun. 

Community Rally

On May 5, 2012, the Youth Matter, Inc.  Sapphire cheer leaders performed at a community “I WILL NOT DROPOUT”; Say NO to sex and YES to college Rally. The Rally was held at the Vision Centre I in Portsmouth, VA. There were close to 40 cheer leaders in attendance to perform. Youth Matter, Inc. also had information tables set up for anyone who was interested in volunteering or becoming a part of the Sapphire cheer leaders, Just Dyvine dance team, or TROOPS TO YOUTH. Youth Matter, Inc’s youth ambassadors were in attendance to assist as well. The rally had bank tellers come share different ways of saving, along with motivational speakers, a car club and hundreds of persons from the community. 

Micheal Baisden Grant

-          On February 22, 2012, Youth Matter, Inc. was selected as a finalist in Michael Baisden’s “Million Dollar Business Pitch” campaign through our TROOPS TO YOUTH initiative. Baisden initially announced his plans to provide a half-million dollars to small businesses and non-profits through the campaign. After Youth Matter, Inc’s founder, Wilheimina Long did a phone radio interview with Mr. Baisden, Youth Matter, Inc. was graciously awarded a $5,000 grant. The Michael Baisden Show airs nationally on 72 radio stations across the USA.

One Family at a Time

In October 2011, Youth Matter Inc partnered with Giovanni Alexander and the Palace in Portsmouth Salon for our “One Family at a Time” program. Giovanni Alexander is the owner of the Palace in Portsmouth Salon, where Youth Matter Inc. assisted him in providing Thanksgiving meals to over 200 in Portsmouth, VA in November 2011. Families thanked Youth Matter Inc. and the Palace in Portsmouth Salon for taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community. Youth Matter Inc. is always looking for new partnership possibilities and volunteers to help with “One Family at a Time” projects.

For more information on the event, visit the Facebook page for “OCCUPY THANKSGIVING”

2011 Christmas Toy Drive

Through Youth Matter Inc.’s “One Family at a Time” program, Youth Matter set up a Christmas toy drive for families in need. Youth Matter was the recipient of toys collected through various toy drives in December that the Palace in Portsmouth Salon assisted with.  Youth Matter partnered with Portsmouth Social Services and Christian Antioch Church in getting names of families to assist. We provided clothes, coats, and toys to over 100 youth. Youth Matter Incorporated and its volunteers are always willing to give back to the community.

Sentara Nursing Home Christmas Visit

In 2011, Youth Matter Inc's Youth Ambassadors organized a Christmas visit to Sentara Nursing Home in Portsmouth, VA. GPU teamed in providing donated items for the Christmas gift bags and Christmas cards that we provided to 50 residents. Mrs. Medina and her daughter, Andolyn Medina (currently Miss Virginia Outstanding Teen), assisted us with the Christmas visits also. We visited all 118 residents sharing holiday cheer.

Partnership with Portsmouth Public Schools

In December 2011, Youth Matter Incorporated obtained a new partnership with Portsmouth Public Schools. Portsmouth Public Schools, is located in the heart of the beautiful Hampton Roads region of Virginia, and has an enrollment of about 15,000 students. The division includes three high schools, three middle schools, 13 elementary schools, four Pre-K Centers, an alternative school, an adult learning center, and a Career and Technical Education Office at the Portsmouth Campus of TCC. Some of Youth Matter Inc.’s after-school programs will be conducted at several schools in Portsmouth, along with our TROOPS TO YOUTH Lunch Buddies Program. In 1999, Youth Matter Inc. was founded in Portsmouth, and the organization has blossomed so much that it can now share its inspiring message with students in schools throughout Portsmouth.

YMI 2011 Black and White Gala

Once again, the Black and White Gala was a great success. The YMI 3rd Annual Black and White Gala Fundraiser was held on Saturday, October 29 2011 at the Marriot Hotel in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Guest enjoyed entertainment from musicians, poets, dance groups, and even more. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, participated in silent auctions and danced the night away. Youth Matter Incorporated had support from many businesses, non-profit organizations, and friends and family. Guests cheered on their loved ones as they were recognized and rewarded for hard work and dedication to our community. Great prizes, awards, scholarships, and even crowns and sashes were awarded on that uplifting evening. The night was indeed a night of loyalty. All proceeds from the gala support Youth Matter Inc. after-school programs and TROOPS TO YOUTH. Don’t miss out on the inspirational evening next year! All are welcome to attend YMI 4th Annual Black and White Gala Fundraiser, be sure to get your tickets!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


After the Summer Boot Camp & Tryouts, regular practices for the SAPPHIRES are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at Lakeview Elementary School in Portsmouth, VA.

Girls currently in the program are from all Hampton Roads cities. All are welcome!

The TROOPS TO YOUTH initiative needs your support. Also ask your friends to "Like" the TROOPS TO YOUTH Facebook page.


The TROOPS TO YOUTH program in the Hampton Roads VA area is looking for military and civilian for the following projects:
If you know of any military or concerned civilians about the welfare of young people, please pass the word as this is a list of what we are trying to get going.
Life Sports:
Golf Camp
> once or twice a month conduct golf instructing
> Looking/needing at least two military members to do the instruction/mentoring
Tennis Camp
> once or twice a month conduct tennis instructing
> Looking/needing at least two military members to do the instruction/mentoring
> Once or twice a month conduct cycling training
> Looking/needing at least two military members to do the instruction/mentoring
Dance Team
> Looking/needing military members to assist with the cheer squad
Aerobic/Cross Training
> once a week month conduct cross training
> Looking/needing at least two military members to do the instruction

Youth Matter Inc. MVP Rewards Program

Youth Matter Inc is now a part of the MVP rewards program and it helps us to raise money for Youth Matter Inc.

When you can, can you enter your Food Lion MVP card information to support Youth Matter Inc at the following website.

Youth Matter Inc Code is: 252510

If you know other family, friends, or co-workers that also have a Food Lion MVP card, ask them to support us. It doesn’t cost them anything. Let them know that every time they shop at Food Lion and use their MVP card, a portion of their purchase, Food Lion will donate back to support Youth Matter, Inc., but they have to have their card associated with Youth Matter Inc. to help us.

Thanks in advance.

Youth Matter, Inc. Bicycle Club

ATTENTION: Do you own a bicycle? Do you enjoy riding bikes? Do you like exercising? If so, we have a place for you! If you're interested in joining the Youth Matter, Inc. Bicycle Club, please feel free to let us know. It's open to all ages.

Sapphire Cheerleading Program Volunteers

Youth Matter Incorporated would like to send a warm thank you to the young women that volunteer their time and effort into assisting the Sapphire Cheerleading Program. The Sapphire cheerleaders Project Manager is Emma Williams. Emma has been a part of the Youth Matter Inc family for years, as Emma and her younger sister Tiffany participated in our programs since they were in middle school.  Emma has been a long-term volunteer and supporter of Youth Matter Inc. It is exciting to now have Emma being in a volunteer management role where she is now running programs for other youth. The head coach is Britny Barfield, along with assistant coaches, Raffinae Ricks and Crystal Jones. These four have great chemistry together, and understand one another. They all attended I. C. Norcom high school together in Portsmouth, VA, and upon graduation, Emma and Britny attended Virginia Union University to cheer alongside one another. The four young ladies are great role models for the cheerleaders and have the best interest at heart for our young girls.