by Jennifer Shields
Monday, June 26, 2016. was another afternoon in the YMP office. In the morning we were working on either our house's shared story or our individual story. Work stopped, however, when Mr. Cassio Batteast stopped by and spoke to us for a while about coverage of black youth in the media and the juvenile-justice system. Ms. Donna (Ladd, YMP director) came in at the end of his session with us, holding two trophies.
One trophy was really weird looking and covered with a whole bunch of different items from mardigras beads to feathers. The second trophy was plain with red plates covering the gold middle. Shortly after Mr. Cassio finished, Ms. Donna began to divulge why she had the trophies. She explained that we would do weekly polls to determined which student who worked the hardest and helped the team the most, and the winner would basically take a picture with the trophy but also receive a gift card. We all voted and submitted them to Adria (Walker, program assistant).
Once the votes were tallied, it was announced that Eli Bettiga and Maisie Brown tied the vote. Before I knew it, Ms. Donna pulled out the Cups gift cards and gives it to them, and she rewarded Kelsee Ford the staff's choice "Kickbutt Award" for her hard work (and the fact that she found a way to get us cheap t-shirts).
I can honestly say felt genuinely happy for my friends winning the poll. Not too long afterward it was announced that Broad Street Bakery was catering our lunch. This made me feel even better knowing I would not have to pay for lunch. It has really shocked at how kind the people here are YMP are. They'll give us gift cards for Cups, free movie tickets, provide snacks, have bagel Wednesdays and even catered lunches. It actually overwhelms me how much they do for us each day at YMP. I am very grateful that I joined YMP this summer, because I would not have met such a caring and kind group of people if I hadn't.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) is a leader in informational broadcasting. MPB has exhibited a commitment to educating and informing Mississippians. MPB has partnered with YMP to lend tech equipment and provide youth engagement and media specialists to train students.
E3, a project of Parents of Public Schools of Jackson (now Ask for More), supported YMP in summers 2016 and 2017 with stipends for students, and other resources.
The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson (now The Community Foundation of Mississippi) is the
fiscal sponsor for E3.
Choice Printing in downtown Jackson is an in-kind sponsor of YMP offering YMP copying and printing services from its Capitol Towers location.
Jackson-based Workplace Solutions by Barefield is a Steelcase authorized dealer offering high-end office furniture and technology solutions. Workplace Solutions has loaned chairs, mobile desks and mobile whiteboards to create a collaborative office for YMP participants.
Jackson-based Fuse.cloud (formerly Broadband Voice) offers Voice-over-IP phone systems, fiber Internet connections and technical services. Fuse.cloud has sponsored phones, VoIP phone service and technical assistance for YMP.