HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to our January 2020 edition of our online newsletter (LAP) The Learning Academy Post
January is National Mentoring Month. Thank you for being a listener, a friend, for being a teacher. And most importantly for being there.

Mentee of the Month: Domenay Darden
D omenay Darden is recognized as the December 2019 DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. Mentee of the Month. Domenay was selected because of her commitment to her education and her perseverance in overcoming life's challenges. Darden is currently a Senior at The U School and has been a member of DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. since September 2019. 
DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest met Domenay a few years ago while hosting programs for high school aged girls at The U School.  Earlier this year, Darden approached Forrest and told him to start hosting more programs for girls. Darden explained that Forrest always does programs for boys at The U School and feels like the girls are left out of the equation. 
Forrest responded that he would make an effort to host an equal amount of programs with similar impact for all students at The U School starting in September 2019. 
Domenay is currently matched with DonCARES Mentor Carly Newton, a junior communication major at Temple University and a member of the National Council of Negro Women, Temple University Section, Queen in You, Temple Chapter, and an Intern at Harlem Fashion Row. 
After high school, Domenay is considering becoming going to college and is currently completing her senior multi-disciplinary project on gun-violence. Both Carly and Donovan are proud of Domenay and her recent academic accomplishments. Congratulations, Domenay!
Mentor of the Month: Anisa Ara
A nisa Ara is recognized as the December 2019 DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. Mentor of the Month. Ara was selected because of her commitment to her mentee Dior and her dedication to our core values. Ara is a Senior at The Temple University majoring in Management Information Systems and has been a member of DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. since August 2019. 
As a mentor, Anisa has provided guidance for her mentee in both personal and professional matters. One of her proudest accomplishments serving with DonCARES is helping her mentee Dior spearhead a documentary on mass incarceration.
After graduation, Ara will work at IBM in Washington D.C. DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. Executive Director Donovan Forrest says: "Anisa is an absolute powerhouse as a scholar and an activist. We are glad that she can advocate for her mentee by serving as a mentor and friend and for speaking so highly of our organization in her professional circles."
Success Corner: Kasey Bethea
DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. extends our sincerest congratulations to our long-time mentor Kasey Bethea for graduating in December from Temple's College of Engineering with a degree in Civil Engineering. 

Bethea has been a member of DonCARES for the past three years. Serving in varying capacities as a mentor, tutor, and program assistant, Kasey believes wholeheartedly in the power of mentoring. 

DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest refers to Bethea as: "a pleasure to work with, and an excellent addition to our team." In an Instagram post where DonCARES celebrates Bethea's accomplishment, Bethea responded to DonCARES: "Thank you for providing us the opportunity to do something that we can be proud of." 

Success Corner: Donovan Forrest
DonCARES Founder and Executive Director Donovan Forrest just recently received his acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government Certificate in Non-Profit Administration program. 

Forrest, a longtime youth advocate, social entrepreneur, and non-profit leader was excited as well as over-joyed to be accepted to such a prestigious university in his hometown. 

"For those who know me, they know how long I've had this dream. To finally get accepted is the best thing in the world." Forrest remarked. 

DonCARES Executive Director Donovan Forrest will begin classes in his non-profit certificate program in the summer. Forrest's main goal is to learn the ins and outs of non-profit management to scale the organization's efforts in Philadelphia. Forrest, a pre-service educator at Temple University believes that when you serve our most important stakeholders (our youth) non-profit executives must ensure that their practices are based on research and not just theory. 

Sadie T.M. Alexander Social Justice Essay Contest: Begins January 20th
F or the second year in a row, DonCARES of Philadelphia, Inc. will host the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Social Justice Essay Contest for high school students at The U School.

The objective of this contest is for high school student participants to think critically about the challenges that existed and remain for black and brown people in America. Participants will also use Alexander's narrative as a starting point for thinking about some issues that affect marginalized people of color. Students will also consider their definitions of “justice” and “progress” to serve as a basis for change.

There will be four winners. One first place winner and runner-up for 9th and 10th grades and 11th and 12th grades. We will announce the winners in late February 2020. First place winners will be awarded 100-dollar visa gift cards and second place winners will be awarded 75-dollar visa gift cards.

The essay prompt and directives will be available on our website under "essay contest" and in pdf form on January 20, 2020. All essays must be submitted via email by February 18, 2020 at noon. No late essays will be considered and all submissions will be screened for plagiarism.

All questions can be directed to cares.phila@gmail.com

"The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more."

-Martin Luther King III