The Story of Encourage Me I’m Young...
Inspired by the Journey of Calvin T. Mann, President & Founder
Written by: Heather Hetheru Miller
It was the summer of 1992 and I had taken a job as a childcare worker for my friend’s home daycare service. I was 25 with a three-year old son of my own, so I already had my hands full at home. Now, I was caring for 12 additional rambunctious kids. I think a lot of parents know that when you work with young kids as much as I was, you must become perceptive very quickly to keep up. It’s like you have developed superpowers to sense what they need as soon as they need it. In turn, they develop a trust in you to love and protect them from things that scare or confuse them. It was just like this when I took up my daycare job, and I made sure to take both their trust and my new role very seriously.
I was enjoying my job and the children I cared for, but I never could have known how the experience would change my life forever by beginning the journey of Encourage Me I’m Young. My experience working with those children from the heart of Ferndale, MI helped me understand exactly what we owe to the children of our communities. I learned that it wasn’t good enough to sit idly by and wait for children to need our help; instead, we needed to take an active role in their development. Getting from this realization to the youth development program EMIY is today was a long journey, but the most pivotal moment happened during the summer of 2004.
Encourage Me I’m Young (EMIY) Inc., a non-profit 501c3 based in Detroit is a grassroots volunteer driven organization dedicated to legacy. We have supported, developed, and nurtured children and fathers to reach their fullest potential since 2007.