Today we’d like to introduce you to C.Michelle Jones-Harrison.
Thanks for sharing your story with us C.Michelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My name is C.Michelle Jones-Harrison, a resident of Fulton County in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m the Founder, President & CEO of “4 My Destiny Community Arts Center Inc,” a 501c3 charity organization located in Atlanta, Georgia. This organization was founded in January of 2018.
I started this organization out of compassion for at-risk youth & young adults in my family as well as in underserved communities in the metropolitan Atlanta area. My heart breaks whenever I see a child on the news, under the age of 18, that has been arrested for armed robbery, murder, rape, vandalism, selling, purchasing & using drugs, drug possession, gang activity and a number of other serious crimes. The high rate of youth & young adults that are committing crimes, being charged as adults, then spending an extensive amount of time in prison is alarming. Therefore, a vision was birthed inside of me that soon became a reality. I decided to start a nonprofit organization in the SW Atlanta area, which is an underserved community that has a high rate of at-risk youth and young adults. Not only was my vision to serve at-risk youth & young adults but their families as well, along with individuals who have recently been released from prison.
Our Mission is to provide comprehensive services that improve the quality of life of at-risk youth, young adults, formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in underserved communities. We deliver our mission by offering Mentoring & After school educational programs, Life coaching & development of interpersonal communication skills, Pre-employment or Job training, Job readiness programs & Job resources, Etc. Our Purpose is to reach At-risk, Underserved youth & young adults through Performing Arts, providing them opportunities to Entertain, Inspire, Promote Positive Change, Educate, Engage and Lead in the area of the Arts. To introduce future generations to Live Theatre, Music and Art. We plan to bridge the gap between our communities. This is a Community based effort. Studies show that in our more underserved communities, there is a great lack of community support for schools, a high rate of criminal activity, school dropouts, little or no parental involvement or expectations, drug & alcohol abuse, mental health issues, a high rate of single-parent homes, poverty, teenage pregnancy and dysfunctional home life. Since ‘4 My Destiny Community Arts Center Inc’ is a performing arts center as well as a service provider, the following services, programs and activities are included in our 1 to 10 year Plan, Goals, Agenda, Services;
Music, Acting/Drama, Dance, Film/TV, Editing, Theatre, Book Writing
Script Writing, Mentoring, Life Coaching, Counseling, Bullying Prevention
Teen Pregnancy Counseling, Mental Health Counseling Resources & Referrals
Rape, Suicide, Child & Domestic Abuse, Drug & Alcohol Counseling/Resources/Referrals
Tutoring, After-School programs, Summer Camps, Field Trips
Housing/Housing Resources & Referrals, Food Distribution, Community Outreach, Feeding the Homeless & Low-Income families, Intake services, Etiquette classes
Financial planning classes & workshops, Health & Wellness programs, Clothing Bank, One-Stop-Shop services****
Scholarships, GED Info/Referrals, College enrollment & Financial Aid Info and Assistance
Live performances, Contests, Business & Entrepreneurship Classes/Seminars, Entertainment Industry Jobs/Job leads, Transportation services
Info on obtaining Health Insurance & Life Insurance
Obtaining partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, TV/Film Production companies & Celebrities
These are all of the goals, programs and services that we have lined up in our 1 to 10 year plan and agenda. Some of these services are already being provided, despite the fact that we have not yet obtained any funding, nor do we have a building or location. We’re currently working diligently to obtain funding as well as a permanent building or location within one year or less. Since this organization started in 2018, in spite of the fact that we don’t yet have a location or funding, we are proud of our accomplishments. To date, we have assisted over 45 formerly incarcerated men & women find and obtain employment, assisted them with creating resumes, assisted them with housing resources or referrals, we’ve fed over 1,700 homeless and low-income families & individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic and provided them with toiletries, clothes, shoes, provided them with referrals for various types of assistance, provided over 160 jobs leads and referrals to at-risk youth & young adults and their families, we’ve mentored more than 20 youth & young adults, hosted support groups meetings, assisted 60 people obtain paid gigs in the entertainment industry, hosted workshops for beginners who want to get started in the entertainment industry, provided assistance, resources or referrals to those who wanted to get their GED or wanted to enroll in college, provided info on obtaining financial aid or assistance with completing the application, etc. I’m super excited about all that we have done and all that we’ve yet to do. I love people; I love our communities, I have a passion and a purpose to share, help and serve others, especially at-risk youth & young adults in underserved communities. I’ll always do the very best that I can. However, in order to provide the services that I’m currently providing on a much larger scale, I need my own location, the manpower (FT & PT Staff, Volunteers, Donors, Sponsors, Supporters, Clients, etc.) and Grants/Funding, Etc. To find out more about me and my organization, please visit my website at www.4mydestiny.org or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road for me at all. When you start or plan to start a new business, you can’t do everything all by yourself. You need help. You need a team. That has been one of my challenges; getting people who are consistent, getting people to help period is oftentimes a challenge. Getting funding has also been a challenge. However, I must and I will keep moving forward, no matter what.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We’re a 2-year-old, 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. 4 My Destiny Community Arts Center Inc is a performing arts center for at-risk youth & young adults. We provide mentoring & life coaching programs, job training & job resources, Film/TV, Editing, Dance, Acting, Music, Housing/Housing Resources & Referrals, Food Distribution, Community Outreach, Feeding the Homeless & Low-Income families, Intake services, Etiquette classes, Financial planning classes & workshops, Health & Wellness programs, Clothing Bank, One-Stop-Shop service, etc. I’m most proud of being able to feed almost 2,000 homeless individuals and low-income families in 2020 during the Coronavirus, Covid-19 Pandemic in the Atlanta area. What sets me apart is the fact that we’re are passionate about helping those in our underserved communities with or without funding. No matter the challenges or obstacles that are before us, we still work harder and keep moving forward.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I do feel like our city of Atlanta is a good place for businesses like mine. It is definitely needed.
I would recommend that a person who is interested in starting a new business venture to start out here in the City of Atlanta. There are a lot of great opportunities here and resources and a great place to network.
- Website: www.4mydestiny.org
- Phone: 678-665-0805
- Email: email@example.com