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Who Charlotte Knows ... Life Changers of Our City's Life Changers

August 11, 2017    in

In August, SHARE Charlotte will continue looking at the recent findings of the Opportunity Task Force by exploring the nonprofits invested in creating networking, growth and mentorship opportunities for kids and teens. We’ve also asked Charlotteans the question, “who is the person that changed your trajectory?” We’ll be sharing these stories and we encourage you to share yours

David Jessup
“The person who changed the trajectory of my life was a 5th grader I taught my first year as a @TeachForAmerica corps member. In 2009, Mashika reaffirmed my belief that every child can succeed if given the resources to do so. In June, I watched this young lady receive her high school diploma, graduating with honors. It's because of Mashika that I've dedicated my life to leveling the educational playing field.”

David Jessup

“An avid lover and ‘liver’ of art and creative expression, I pride myself in providing platforms and opportunities for a diverse audience of creatives — serving as their ‘yes,’ and, oftentimes, becoming their ‘big break’ into the cultural scene that Charlotte offers. I do it because it’s needed. I do it because Charlotte has a tremendous pool of talented individuals who need an outlet and I do it, most importantly, because my brother, Dion Galloway, did it for me. Most comfortable behind the scenes, Dion is often seen and not heard, but provided a loud and resounding ‘yes’ to me, several years before. An unsung hero, at a time when I needed art the most, he allowed me to dive into it, wholeheartedly — without suffocating parameters and critiques — and, as a result, Dupp & Swat was created. Essentially, he said, ‘Yes, Davita, go and create. Go and figure this ‘art thing’ out. Go and experience. Go, learn and don’t worry, I’ll be right here to accompany you on the journey.’ He probably doesn’t know it, but that day he changed the trajectory of my life — saving it, actually. So as a way to pay homage and honor him for allowing me to do what I love, it gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to be able to provide the same opportunities for those who, like me, can’t live without creating. It feels great to be in the business of saying, ‘Yes’!”

Davita Galloway

Foundation for Girls is a youth led social venture to impact social change in our community. "Our three tenets are access to opportunities, caring coaches and scaffolding for success for at-risk children and youth. We believe that to change the trajectory of a child or youth, one needs a caring coach who is committed, passionate and consistent. We want to share our social capital, networks and values with the children and youth of Charlotte."

Shreya Mantha (16) and Sahana Mantha (11)

"I came to Charlotte in 1995 to further my corporate career with a national hotel chain, and to start my family. My desire to engage the community through volunteer service and empowerment was fueled with my first volunteer work at a local nonprofit serving at-risk children and youth living in West Charlotte. It was there I was introduced to Pastor Eric Chisholm. He was the visionary behind the mission to take a life-transforming message to children and youth in the most distressed communities. He was a passionate and charismatic leader and I was amazed at his ability to connect with the children and youth. Though he was a dear friend for many years, he also served as my mentor. He allowed me to tag along during many outreach events into the most troubled neighborhoods and I soon learned many of the qualities of great mentors and community leaders from his example. Much of the work I am privileged to do in the community, to mentor hundreds of young men, is the result of his bold example and fearless leadership!"

Colin Pinkney, Executive Director of The Harvest Center of Charlotte