I Am A Movement was founded by Duran Bowie in the spring of 2012. As an active community leader, Duran was troubled by the state of the youth in his community. He realized that the key to a successful future for our society lies in the hands of the younger generations today. Drawing from his own life experiences (having come out of impoverished conditions as a child himself) Duran knew that education and encouraging hands to help guide children towards reaching their true potential are the key elements to uplifting the youth. He made it his goal not only to help young people, but to raise awareness in our society by shining a spotlight on the issue and to seek out support on behalf of the youth. I Am A Movement continues to spread the message of hope within the community, as it sets out to expand across the nation.
In order to continue the movement of education from the classroom to the home, we give students grade appropriate assignments to complete. The work is then graded, and students that do well or show steady improvement are rewarded with gifts such as gift cards, money, field trips, etc. more
Teens (grades 7-12) in low-income areas are mentored in the areas of sharpening their education and social skills. This allows them to grow into well-adjusted young adults that are able to set and reach goals. In turn, they become role models in their community as well, perpetuating a cycle of support and leadership.
At the end of every semester, students can submit their report cards to be rewarded for their above average and improved grades. Incentives include gift cards, money, field trips, etc.
My whole life has revolved around athletics because it’s helped take my mind off everything else in life;
It’s been my outlet. As a child my dream was to one-day play in the NFL. I also realized that if was going to take sports seriously then I knew I would have to take care of the work in the classroom. I graduated high school in 2008 and received an academic and football scholarship to Coffeyville Community College. From there I received an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts in 2009. Following CCC another door opened and I was given the opportunity to further my education and football career even more. I decided to attend William Jewell College, a private school in Missouri. After what seemed like a long journey I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2012.
I was brought up in two cultures that are complete opposites, both having impacted my life in numerous
ways. I was raised in the Midwest; Kansas to be exact, and there I dealt with countless individuals who were
judgmental and discriminative. In California, I didn’t come across many problems at all, except maybe that I acted different then the norm. Being a child of mixed race, my father being African American and my mother Caucasian, I know what it means to be “different.” Throughout my life, there have times I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere because I was different.
Looking back on my life I’ve realized that there’s always going to be discrimination in the world. In today’s
society, children shouldn’t have to go through that but they do. With my chances of continuing my football career
coming to a close, I’ve devoted myself to being a voice and/or mentor for the youth and helping them attain their full capabilities in life.
James is a March 2011 graduate from UCLA with a Bachelors of Science degree in Anthropology, emphasis in Socio-Cultural Studies. As a student James decided to take advantage of his time at UCLA and joined various clubs and organizations, traveled and studied abroad, served K-12 youth in both South Los Angeles and West Los Angeles schools, participated in bio-medical student research, interned with the GEANCO foundation and served as a Resident Assistant in UCLA’s Office of Residential Life to first year students, as well as, transfer students.
During his time at UCLA James focused on critical issues that affected his community both on-campus, and off-campus. Under the guide of mentors James spread awareness about HIV/AIDS issues through intentional programming and community engagement. As a director for BLAIDS and a Resident Assistant he focused his efforts on making individuals aware of what was happening around them concerning the AIDS epidemic. After graduation James further expanded his passion for AIDS health and education as community educator for AIDS Research Alliance. It is here where he served clinical trial participants and several community partners within Downtown LA and the greater Los Angeles area. As a community educator, James worked on dispelling some of the misconceptions that go along with clinical trials through Clinical Trials 101 presentations. Servicing at risk populations including the gay and trans community.
He is driven individual who has his eyes set on completing a long life goal of becoming a medical doctor. He has also developed an interest in public health and would like to delve more into the subject of health education within communities of color and the underserved. He is very passionate about his Ghanaian heritage and HIV/AIDS awareness. Along the way he also stayed true to uplifting humanity in any way that he can, a motivation that came from his membership in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. His desire is to help people who are in need, and who don’t necessarily have all the resources they need to better themselves. Whether it be through education or health, as long as he succeeds in achieving this goal is all that matters to him.
Steven Witkowski was born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Fernando Valley.
He attended public schools throughout his primary, collegiate, and post-graduate
education. Steven is a Southern California local of northeastern Brazilian and
western Massachusetts descent.
His interest in teaching and encouraging the youth began while he was completing
his bachelor’s degree in the Bay Area. While there, he served as a program
coordinator at Sequoia Elementary School in Oakland. He has since been a mentor
for the federally funded McNair Scholars Program, a tutor in the Los Angeles region,
Steven’s pedagogy is firmly rooted in critical dialectical methodologies. He believes
in helping students find their own voice and purpose while adapting each classroom
or teaching session to their needs and abilities. He learns from and with his students
and, as a result, positive change can be made.
Besides teaching, Steven works part-time for the Sundance Documentary Fund
Program, and is a copy editor for an art-field labor magazine, Art Handler. He
received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.A. from the
University of California, Santa Barbara.
Christina Maheia is an ambitious and innovative individual who loves working with children and loves to help people in general.
Born Los Angeles and raised in Compton, where I attended California State University of Northridge and major in Cinema and Television Arts with a concentration on Media Management. As a child I was always was involved in extracurricular activities such as Basketball, Theater, Dance, and Choir. However as for my academic studies I often struggled in math. At that time, there were not any afterschool tutoring programs available to assist my peers and myself with my math or any other subject, resources were very limited. Being a tutor is a very flexible and gratifying experience; the chance to give back to my community by educating the youth is very fulfilling and rewarding. I love to read and write and I am excited to have a good excuse to read more, to have the opportunity to sit around the table and learn with your delightful students. I enjoy music, good books, sunsets, coffee with friends, and leisurely breakfasts with my family. Lastly, I have three years agency experience working 1 on 1 with students from 1st-12 grade and 2 years’ experience working with children in classroom settings.
Drawing from his own life experiences (having come out of impoverished conditions as a child himself) Duran knew that education and encouraging hands to help guide children towards reaching their true potential are the key elements to uplifting the youth. He made it his goal not only to help young people, but to raise awareness in our society by shining a spotlight on the issue and to seek out support on behalf of the youth.
Coming from an underprivileged family in Los Angeles, I know what it’s like to be without. To be without money, without a support system, without an inspiring atmosphere, without food (at times), without people that genuinely care, but most importantly, without proper guidance.
After graduating from Westchester High School in 2008, I moved on to pursue academics and football at West Los Angeles Junior College. I obtained my Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts in 2010. I was blessed enough to earn both an academic and athletic scholarship for football, which sent me to a private college in Missouri, William Jewell. Once arriving at Jewell, I began my journey to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration while working towards NFL aspirations, as well. I graduated from William Jewell with a Business Administration degree in 2012, along with the opportunity to play in the NFL. Needless to say, things didn’t work out with the NFL.
As I reflect on my life and the decisions I’ve made, all I could say to myself was, “Man, if only I knew then what I know now.” I would have done things differently. I’ve realized my passion is committing to being that role model or figure for guidance that was never too accessible for myself. I’m committed to changing young kids’ lives and breaking this vicious cycle.
I Am A Movement was founded by Duran Bowie in the spring of 2012. As an active community leader, Duran was troubled by the state of the youth in his community. He realized that the key to a successful future for our society lies in the hands of the younger generations today. Drawing from his own life experiences (having come out of impoverished conditions as a child himself) Duran knew that education and encouraging hands to help guide children towards reaching their true potential are the key elements to uplifting the youth.
He made it his goal not only to help young people, but to raise awareness in our society by shining a spotlight on the issue and to seek out support on behalf of the youth. I Am A Movement continues to spread the message of hope within the community, as it sets out to expand across the nation.
We at I am a Movement aim to expose our kids to as much outside of their environment as possible. Giving them access to places that are different than where they were born and raised. Feel free to donate below or explore the site to learn more about what we do!