Thursday, August 25, 2011

SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 29, 2011 - It’s going to be a Red Carpet Affair!

Below are links of last year’s event for your review of the quality of event.
The 2011 Black & White Gala will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2011, at the following location:
Marriott Chesapeake Hotel
725 Woodlake Dr.
Chesapeake, VA 23220
5:p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Red Carpet
5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. The Gala

Tickets are on sale now at to support Youth Matter Inc.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    SAPPHIRES Cheerleading Starts – a “TROOPS TO YOUTH” program.

    On August 2nd, Youth Matter Inc. started a cheerleading group called the “SAPPHIRES” with ages ranging from 5 to 14 through a summer camp program – The Sapphires Cheer Program is a “TROOPS TO YOUTH” initiative under the Focus area of “Fit Body” because it promotes getting the youth moving and being active. Tanisha Ward, a Navy Reservist, will begin in September as their Cheer Coach.

    Within 2 weeks’ time the group grew from 6 to 24 girls having registered, and girls are still signing up to become a member of the Sapphires. The Sapphires Cheer program is split into two different age groups, the young girls are the Sapphire Sparkles and the older girls are the Sapphire Gems.

    The summer program was started at the Vision Centre 1, a multi-purpose center, in Portsmouth, VA that is owned and managed by Mount Sinai Church located across the street from the Vision Centre 1.  Youth Matter Inc.’s partnership with the Vision Centre 1 has been instrumental in being able to get programs off the ground, and we are most appreciative.

    All of the young girls that came to the cheer camp are still going strong with the practices that have been held twice a week for 3 hours each session. Their practice routine has included warm-up exercises, learning basic moves of cheer and dance, cheers, along with team building skills. The girls that are participating in the Sapphires program will not only learn how to cheer and dance, they will also take a lot from this program with it being a part of the “TROOPS TO YOUTH” initiative, as they will also be able to take advantage of the educational component as well as mentoring.

    During the summer camp program, Jacquelyn Bates, College Student at Chowan University and Miss Youth Matter 2011, was the lead coach for the Sapphires Summer Camp. Raven Tatum from Chowan University, Kayla Outlaw of King’s Fork High School, and Jazmine Simmons of Atlanta, GA, also came out several days to assist with the cheer camp.  See the photo below of Jacquelyn with the girls on her last day with the girls before she returned to college.

    The summer program has continued with the aid of Destani Cox, Iesha Wilson, and Tatiana Britt, summer employees of the HILTEK Group that volunteered to assist with the Sapphires program for the summer so that the girls will stay active and continue to learn their craft as a member of the Sapphires cheer team.

    We also salute the parents that have come out on a regular basis to the Sapphires camp and practices to cheer on the girls, encouraging them, and assisting with learning moves, and the parents have even joined on in the exercise sessions with their children – GO SAPPHIRES CHEER PARENTS!!!

    Youth Ambassadors Attend the “Worth the Wait” Concert

    On July 8, some of the Youth Matter, Inc. ambassadors and friends attend the annual “Worth the Wait” concert sponsored by Grove Baptist Church. The evening was a success, as we made new friends, danced the night away, and learned a valuable lesson, such as, everything is worth the wait. There was a talent show and Canton Jones, a very popular gospel rapper graced the stage with his “swag,” showing kids that you and be “cool” while living your life in a respectful manner.  The youth ambassadors had so much fun, and wished the night would have never ended. This was an excellent outing for the Youth Matter, Inc. ambassadors.

    Troops To Youth

    Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines, plus Concerned Civilians (Citizen Troops) mentoring our youth about a healthy and productive life style is the purpose of TROOPS TO YOUTH.  TROOPS TO YOUTH’s theme consist of a fit body, a fit mind, and a fit life will create a fit America through partnership with members of our Armed Forces and Concerned Civilians.  This initiative focuses on at-risk youth attempting to reduce obesity, high school dropout rates, and the number of youth incarcerated in the criminal system.

    Just Dyvine's New Program Director

    Youth Matter, Incorporated would like to welcome Just Dyvine’s new program director, Reneisha Diggs! Reneisha Diggs was formerly a captain and dancer of Nansemond High School’s dance team. She is currently dancing and cheering with the Virginia Destroyers. Reneisha hosted a summer camp for Just Dyvine. During the summer camp, Reneisha taught the girls two dance routines, how to exercise and eat properly, and also how to be a team player. Youth Matter, Incorporated is very proud to have Reneisha Diggs apart of the team.

    DIVA Rally

    On Saturday, August 6th, DIVA/Kintrell Devin, Founder, partnered with the Hampton Roads Community Health Center to host a “Back to School Rally” that was held on Lincoln Street in Portsmouth, VA – the event assisted Portsmouth Inner City Students with school supplies for the 2011-12 school year.  Youth Matter Inc. was one of the many non-profit organizations in attendance, along with other organizations from the Health Center who offer services to families which include dental, medical health education / screening.

    Iesha Wilson and Jackie Bates, Miss Youth Matter, were the Youth Matter Inc.’s representatives during the event.  Iesha talked with families about the various activities and programs that Youth Matter offers, while gathering contact information from 30+ youth and parents who had an interest in enrolling their children in our programs. Jackie was greeted with excitement from the little girls that wanted to see her crown and sash, and wanted to know how they could become a Youth Ambassador as well. She gave out candy treats along with taking photos with the children. Both Iesha and Jackie joined in on the line dancing fun that was had by all.

    Wilheimina Long, Youth Matter Inc.’s Executive Director, also stopped by the event to meet other organizations to learn more about the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods, and how we can partner with them as well, as it’s a joint effort in providing positive alternatives to youth.

    The experience was educational, entertaining, and pleasurable for all ages. DIVA did a superb job hosting this event by grasping and receiving feedback from the audience with their trivia questions of the city.  A mark of respect was given to the single mothers and time was given for others to share their achievement testimonies.

    The family units were encouraged by participating in the energized line dancing, a zumba fitness class, artistic face painting, inflatables for youth, as well as healthy foods for everyone. DIVA’s “Back to School Rally” was a great outlet to meet & greet and a community success in providing needs within the neighborhoods.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Just Dyvine Wishes Eltonette “Elle” Pope Much Success in Her Future Endeavors

    On Sunday, July 10, 2011, Just Dyvine dance members wish Elle the best. Eltonette “Elle” Pope was the volunteer program director from September 2010 until July 2011 for “Just Dyvine”, a Youth Matter Inc. dance program. It has been nothing but a pleasure to work with “Elle”.

    At their heart-warming presentation to Elle, Tatiana Britt, the team Captain, as well as Miss Youth Matter Teen 2011, made a brief speech, representing all of the young ladies of Just Dyvine, where she said to Elle the following:

    “It has been nothing but a pleasure to work with Elle. When Youth Matter Incorporated reached out to you, to assist with its after-school dance program, Just Dyvine, you said yes without a second thought, and for that, Youth Matter, Incorporated and I are grateful. I knew the ladies of Just Dyvine would get along just fine with Elle, because the first time I saw her, she was decked out in a hot pink outfit. She has such a genuine and hard-working character. It was wonderful getting to know Elle not only as a program director, but as a true friend. Elle has taught the ladies of Just Dyvine how to work together as a team, how to cope with day-to-day struggles, and how to be a loyal friend. It’s sad to know that she will not be helping us out anymore, but I am sure I will see her at all of our events, cheering for us in the crowd. Elle, thanks for everything you have done for us. Youth Matter Incorporated is truly grateful.”

    Eltonette “Elle” Pope pictured at top (2nd to last on right) with a few of Just Dyvine girls.

    They also presented Elle with a beautiful necklace, in nothing less than a hot pink gift bag – true to the Just Dyvine style.

    The entire Youth Matter Inc. organization wishes Elle the very best in her future endeavors and we say THANKS for all that you have done in getting the Just Dyvine program off the ground. Just Dyvine is a TROOPS TO YOUTH® program in our “Fit Life” focus area. To learn more about Just Dyvine, visit our website at

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    Youth Matter Incorporated 1st Annual Cookout

    Youth Matter Inc.’s 1st annual cookout held on Sunday, July 10th at the Portsmouth City Park in Portsmouth, VA, and it was a complete success. It was a chance for all Youth Matter program members, youth and their families, employees, friends, and volunteers, to all meet one another, and share in on a day of fun.

    Everyone had a wonderful time; the food was awesome; and the company was warm and friendly! The children were really enjoying themselves along with the adults that joined in on the fun of the sports activities. Many adults had a wonderful time just relaxing on a beautiful Sunday, while they watched the children interact with one another and get their blood pumping.

    There were giveaways for the children that were provided through our TROOPS TO YOUTH® initiative where it donated four bicycles, sports balls and TROOPS TO YOUTH® backpacks. Other giveaways included arts and craft sets, t-shirts, and stickers.

    There were different activities for the children to do. They had the option of playing corn hall, badminton, hula-hoop, volleyball, and golf; they also had the option of doing arts and craft, face painting or just running around playing with each other. Children, as well as the adults, had a wonderful time getting their face painted by Miss Kitty. There was a hula-hoop contest that Wilheimina Long, Youth Matter Inc.’s founder, even joined in on – a lot of fun for all; Peighton was the winner.

    There were two highlighted moments at the cookout which involved our Just Dyvine dance team. One special moment was when Just Dyvine dancers presented a token of thanks to their former Program Director, Eltonette Pope; it was an emotional moment to see the compassionate they shared for one another. The other special moment was when Te’Ara Powell, a Just Dyvine dancer won one of the bicycles in the giveaway and then she turned and gave it to one of the four year olds who wanted a bicycle – such an unselfish act and we applaud Te’Ara Powell.

    The Youth Matter Inc.’s 1st annual cookout was a day sure to be remembered.