The National Black Men’s Health Network Launches A New Youth Initiative Called NEXT Steps

The National Black Men’s Health Network (NBMHN) rolls out a new youth service program to introduce at-risk and low-income students to S.T.E.M.-based economic & community development initiatives through social entrepreneurism and urban agriculture.
By: NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program
Aug. 20, 2010 - PRLog -- The National Black Men’s Health Network (NBMHN) was incorporated in 1987 by a group of community-conscious individuals to promote public awareness and provide preventive health education regarding the serious health concerns facing the African-American community.  African-American males in particular face extremely high rates of homicide, cancer, AIDS, cardiovascular, kidney and liver disease and many other potentially preventable health problems.  However, because the organization believes that optimal community health requires a positive balance between the genders, NBMHN addresses the needs of women and children as well.

Beginning in September 2010, NBMHN will introduce The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program – their youth-based service program designed to help NBMHN deliver prevention education through social entrepreneurism and S.T.E.M.-based investigative research and discovery activities.  This innovative approach will equip NBMHN with the tools required to deliver positive and uplifting messages with a high level of relevance to 21st Century minority youth groups.

All NSYEP students will be introduced to S.T.E.M.-based activities through community gardening and urban farming. The urban agriculture industry provides bountiful opportunities for children to explore and discover innovative ideas and solutions that can be applied to career options, inventions and social issues that can improve their lives, communities and environment. By targeting at risk/low-income communities that are identified as Empowerment Zones and/or blighted food deserts, NSYEP will be instrumental in helping communities reduce and eliminate key barriers that restrict improvements in their quality of life: high rates of crime, chronic diseases, poverty (low income); limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables; and poor eating habits and consumption choices.  

NSYEP has created programs that will teach students and their families how to reduce or eliminate these three key barriers and, in return, improve the quality of life of the students, their families and their communities.  These include:

•   The Power of Perception (In-School/After School) Speaker Series - a communication tool designed to help at-risk students understand the challenges that are stacked against them – starting with a shockingly honest discussion about how “society” perceives them.  

•   The  Community Involvement Growth Strategy (C.I.G.S.) social entrepreneur program takes each student’s mission statement and applies it, in real time, to real world situations and environmental issues.

•   The Making of Men Honors Program – to introduce a team of influential African American men and women in S.T.E.M. industries to proudly highlight the careers, accomplishments and current contributions of key, accessible African American role models and deliver encouraging messages of strength and character to at-risk youth.  

•   R&D T.R.E.N.D.S. Science Fair – The R&D Teaching and Researching Environmental Developments through S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).  The R&D TRENDS Science Fair is designed to implement and showcase youth-led research strategies and tested hypotheses to determine and report their results as well as determine how their findings lead to employment opportunities and innovative community service projects.

•   The Herb & Farm Gardening Program/ CSI Unit (Community, Science & Innovation) Investigation Teams -  will tie urban farming and community gardening directly to social issues that negatively impact student’s communities and empower them to develop solutions to solve them via careers, inventions, innovations, and changes in behavior, diet and community service

•   NSYEP Farm Guild - will be strictly focused on fundraising activities that promote and preserve the heritage and multi-cultural contributions made through urban agriculture and community gardening.

For more information about the NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program and its curriculum, please visit or contact Dana Jewel Harris, NSYEP Executive Director at 678-570-0398 or email:

For more information about the National Black Men’s Health Network, please visit: or contact Baba "Yoga" Bey, NBMHN Chairman at 770-771-3347 or email:

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About NSYEP: NEXT Steps equips at-risk, low-income students with quality economic and community development skills through social entrepreneurism, S.T.E.M.-based investigative research and discovery, and community service within the urban agriculture industry.
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Tags:At-risk Youth, Education, S.t.e.m., Social Entrepreneurism, Research, Urban Agriculture, Community Service, Gardening
Industry:Youth, Education, Non-profit
Location:Atlanta - Georgia - United States
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