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Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!

by Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN)
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!
Launch DC's First Youth Peer Support Center!

FAN has been busy this summer and did not let COVID-19 restrictions slow us down. Not only did we turn 15 on August 5th and will spend this year celebrating 15 years of service, as a result of COVID, we've managed to provide FANmilies with over 11,000 non-perishable meals and enhance community partnerships to provide more direct services. We provided tablets and laptops for our families to stand in the gaps of the digital divide, and connected three families with resources to ensure they had access to the internet. 

Our partnership with Oye Palaver Hut and Let's Go Boys & Girls allowed us to keep our youth participants engaged throughout the summer by hosting virtual cooking lessons, story telling, and STEM projects. Our youth participants were not disappointed when we hand delivered their summer kits to them which provided all the materials they would need to follow along on our virtual platform. 

While we did miss seeing our FANmilies in person, we were grateful for the opportunity to still serve them throughout the pandemic. We were able to provide more direct services such as transportation and meal support. In doing so, we reduced the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for our participants who would have otherwise had to use public transportation. 

In light of the civil unrest, we also wanted to create a space for our participants to share their feelings about the current climate and we launched a "We Matter Campaign," and partnered with the Social Justice School to have our youth participants create a super hero zine in which they identify ways in which they can make in difference starting now. 

We are looking forward to supporting our FANmilies with distance learning this fall as schools are closed and students are learning from home. We will be accepting participants in small groups for a few hours a day to give them a safe space to learn, relax, and have a meal (all with proper social distancing policies in place, of course). 

Feel free to stop by our facebook page to check out an interview with our founders to kickoff our 15 year celebration!

FAN hopes that everyone is safe and well, and we look forward to your continued support! 

Be blessed. 

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During the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, we were impacted personally as one of our youth participants tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Out of an abundance of caution, we asked all our youth participants and their families to monitor and report to their doctors if any of them began exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
 
Our foremost concern is for the recovery and well-being of the affected individual and their loved ones. We will continue to prioritize the most vulnerable among us and do everything we can to safeguard the health and wellness of our staff, participants, and surrounding communities.
 
To protect our students, families, and staff we are doing everything possible to make sure FAN continues to create safe places and linked hearts during this challenging time. As part of our COVID-19 response efforts we have implemented the following:
 
  • Cleanliness. We have hired a specialized cleaning company to sterilize our programming space and administrative offices. By taking this action we are ensuring that our space will be safe for students, families, and staff returning for programming.
  • Safety. Due to the recent positive test of one our families, all staff have been asked to self-isolate and to watch for symptoms for at least two weeks. Additionally, we have canceled in-person programming in alignment with DC Public Schools.
  • Community Services. Because we believe in being a community resource, FAN will serve as an emergency food distribution center. To date, we have supplied families with 497 breakfasts and snacks. 
  • Virtual Programming. On Monday, March 23rd, we moved all of our programming virtually. Students can now participate in Movement Mondays, Truth Circle Tuesdays, Wellness Wednesdays, Try it out Thursdays, and Virtual Field Trip Fridays. Tune in each day at 4:00 p.m. via Instagram Live @Fihankradc. Every Saturday during this time, we will also be hosting virtual Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) sessions at 4:00 p.m. By continuing to offer programming during this time we are ensuring our participants are provided with academic, enrichment, and coping support opportunities throughout this pandemic.  We are also in need of virtual tutors!
We appreciate the continuous support that our community has exhibited during this evolving national crisis. If you would like to learn more about how you can support members of our FANmily please contact me directly or consider a contribution online. 
 
We will continue to share relevant updates as the situation unfolds. Please continue to practice social distancing, self-isolate if you are not feeling well, and continue checking for updates and heeding counsel from DC Department of Health or your local health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
 
If there are any questions or concerns, you can call me directly at (202) 380-9390 x1.

Peace & Blessings. Stay safe
 

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FAN is turning 15! Join us this year as we pay homage to the work that we've done in the past and gain focus around the work we're going to do in the future. This year is all about 2020 vision, but you can't know where you're going unless you understand where you've come from. 

FAN opened the doors in 2005 as a safe space for fostered youth. Since then, we have expanded to be a home for anyone who may be impacted by the child welfare system.

Over the years, we've managed to serve over 200 FANmilys, connect and sustain relationships with over 15 funding and community partners. Jobs have been provided for more than 5 alumni participants. We've also been able to keep the doors open and provide a nurturing environment for participants despite leadership changes, economic hardships, and navigating the everchanging landscape of the DC area. What started out as just a means to providing a safe space turned into so much more. In addition to our 4 programs (Trauma informed after school, summer camp, alumni, and caretaker), we also operate as a drop in center. Being a drop in center means that anyone from the community can walk into our space and be provided with services!  

As we come close to the end of the first quarter in 2020, we're still making progress. We've celebrated Dr. King, Valentine's Day, and welcomed a new member to our FANmily. We made new community connections with Oye Palaver Hut & Let's Go Boys & Girls to introduce the art of storytelling, and stem to our youth participants. We've also continued our partnership with Project Create to give the participants art therapy. Our Alumni group received resources surrounding housing, food, clothing for job interviews, and employment.

We are committed to working toward creating safe, nurturing spaces where participants can be themselves and get support. We look forward to continuing the work. 

Thank you for your time and support! 

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Dear Friend of FAN,

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

Mark your calendars for December 3rd, #GivingTuesday. Black Friday
and Cyber Monday can hollow you out with sales, sales, and more
sales; but, on #GivingTuesday....instead of buying, let's give.

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso, otherwise known as FAN, is a charitable
organization dedicated to creating safe and nurturing spaces for DC
youth and thier families. As FAN's Executive Director, I am excited
about the progress FAN has made over the years and hopeful about the
level of impact we will continue to have with your support. Take  a
look below to see all that we've done in the past year alone.

Next year, we're excited to be celebrating 15 years of service. Thank
you for being a part of our journey! The next 15 years will be even
more fulfilling.

Now, more than ever, FAN needs your support for stronger, more
positive and direct impact on the lives of the children in FAN.
Please join me in donating to FAN on December 3rd at
at our  Global Giving Project Site where we need to complete our goal of $10,000.

Thank you for your continued support.

Peace & Blessings.


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Welcome JoJo
Welcome JoJo

I am thrilled to announce that Josephine (JoJo) Mazyck has joined the FANmily as Executive Director!

Josephine Mazyck (Ms. JoJo) is excited to begin her journey with (FAN). She was drawn to our mantra of safe spaces, linked hearts. Josephine is a firm believer of bringing people together. In her own upbringing, she attributes the power of her community/village to her many successes. She understands the importance of many people working together to ensure children have everything they need. Her core values align with those of FAN and we’re happy to have her here.
 
Ms. JoJo comes to us with a strong background in community development & relationship building, social services, and Montessori. Josephine spent the last 6 years in a charter school setting where she was focused on bridging the gap between home and school and helping parents understand that they are partners in their child(ren)’s education. It is her goal to see parents and teachers working together to set students up for success. An ideal educational system for her is one that educates the entire family.
 
You can read more about Ms. JoJo on our website.

I will be returning to my role as FAN’s biggest cheerleader and Chair of the Board of Directors.  As we close out our first summer as DC's first Youth Peer Operated Center, we are so excited about what we have accomplished over the last year.  Programs at the center have served 107 children, youth, and family members-astonishing growth for FAN in terms of our reach.  We are so excited to see that growth continue under Ms. JoJo's leadership.  Look out for your first update from her in your next report!

Summer Mardi Gras
Summer Mardi Gras
Masks
Masks
Summer Sunshine
Summer Sunshine
Summer Superheroes
Summer Superheroes

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Organization Information

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN)

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @fanlinkedhearts
Project Leader:
Josephine Mazyck
Washington, DC United States

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