Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan; Kyle was inspired to make a difference in the education system after personally witnessing the lack of motivation from administrators and male educators throughout his academic years in public and private schools. Kyle studied in the Inclusive Early Childhood Education at Bowling Green State University with goals and aspirations of becoming a principal. At Bowling Green State University, he was an active participant in the university’s black student union, Chi Alpha Epsilon national honor society, and the Sidney A. Ribeau’s President’s Leadership Academy.  It is Kyle’s goal to find and collaborate with individuals who want to develop a curriculum for all children that is safe, fun, and granted the proper resources, community activities, and lessons that involved diversity, mindfulness, inspiration, and uplift. During his downtime, Kyle enjoys journaling, readings on education policies, traveling, scratching items off his bucket list, and uplifting and empowering others on in person and through social media. Kyle also loves reading poetry and plans on writing a few books to empower and discuss different tips and techniques other educators can use and how they can incorporate mindfulness practices in daily school routines.

Details

    Issues Areas:
  • Education Justice

Campus: Bowling Green State University- Bowling Green, Ohio

Fellowship Class Year: 2016

Blueprint: Melaninnial to Millennial Leadership and Empowerment DEVELOPMENT Series

Kyle Jumper-Smith, a 2016 YP4 fellow and current Vice President of Bowling Green State University’s Black Student Union is currently studying Inclusive Early Childhood Education and plans on setting out a servant leadership and empowerment series of workshops, retreats, social media challenges, and eventually a blog for inner city youth and current students at Bowling Green State University. This program is called Boss Up Melaninnial’s!. In this program millenniums of color help organize and facilitate workshops and activities on topics such as servant leadership, service, social justice, professionalism, and social media during social movements.  In this program, Kyle wants to work with a local clothing business started in Bowling Green, Ohio called Boss Up Clothing Co. and various Bowling Green State University campus organizations to supply the most appropriate resources to benefit the local communities and students of color.  After attending many workshops, retreats, and participating in the YP4 Fellowship, he was inspired to develop a leadership and empowerment series so that scholars from the inner city would be capable of implementing their skills and talents while being a servant leader in their communities in the greater Detroit and Toledo area. His end goal for the program is to incorporate this leadership and empowerment initiative into a curriculum or yearly course for middle and high school students in local cities such as Detroit and Toledo.

Featured Fellow Spotlight

1. What experiences/opportunities led you to apply for the YP4 Fellowship program?

I was encouraged by some YP4 Alum (Leslie Potts, Inglish Reed-Jones, Matthew Murray, and Greg Harrison) to apply for this fellowship. They told me that they had an opportunity to develop and organize their social justice blueprints while meeting some amazing young people throughout the country who also had ideas and plans to change the world. I was not as knowledgeable about social issues and identities so I thought this would be a great opportunity to apply for the YP4 Fellowship program so that I could gain knowledge, meet amazing young leaders, and find ways that I could be a better changemaker within my community

2. What social justice work are you currently doing in your communities, or on your college campuses?

I just wrapped up Project Feed Thy Neighbor which is a birthday service project that I started back in Detroit with some friends a week before my regional training last year in St. Louis. I originally had a $20 budget and was able to prepare 50 cold lunches with a snack and bottle water included. I invited friends via Snapchat and Twitter and got support from 10 of my closest friends. We went in the Cass Corridor community a community currently experiencing gentrification and limited resources such as limited jobs, no food banks, and no access to affordable foods within walking distance. My friends and I passed out lunches, and connected with the community members where we empowered and developed awesome friendships. Our new friends truly appreciated the time we spent with them and throughout my journey as an YP4 fellow I connected with fellows and told them my vision of fulfilling the legacy that the Black Panther Party had established for black and brown bodies and one was the Free Food Program. They encouraged me and gave me so many suggestions and feedback on how I could improve the project for the next year. I used their advice and the information provided through the workshops and went to work immediately after my spring semester. I took my vision and posted it on social media, developed a SignUp page, and created various promotional material to catch my peers’ attention to the issues of food security and gentrification in the Cass Corridor Community. After a month of constant social media promotions, meetings with the planning committee, and more research I exceeded my goals that was originally set to 30 volunteers and a $100 budget, and ended up receiving a $300 budget with 76 volunteers between the ages of 15-22 years old. We successfully fed over 200 people, including the volunteers and had an all-day empowerment event where we spread love and positivity in the Cass Corridor community.

3. What are you passionate about/what motivates you to do public service?

The legacy and passion that the Black Panther Party had for their communities during the 60’s and 70’s motivates me to continue the work that the leaders and members accomplished within the organization.  There was so many programs such as the free food program, SAFE, Black Student Alliance, and youth institute that benefited so many people of color but eventually went ghost. After researching and seeing the current climate of resources for people of color in the inner city I made it my goal and promise to my community to bring back youth and millennials into the community and to continue to promote servant leadership and positive social change.

4. What is the main goal you want to accomplish in your social justice work?

Oh my…. (This is a great question!) Well, I am still figuring out how I want to make a difference with my social justice work so a lot of things are trial and error right now, but I know that it will involve youth and millennials in the community and I truly want to develop a servant leadership and empowerment initiative into a curriculum or yearly course for middle and high school students in the inner city.

5. Can you give an example of how your YP4 Fellowship helped you accomplish something meaningful for your community? 

The YP4 fellowship strengthened my voice and gave me the correct skills to be confident and organized with my ideas. Before joining the fellowship, I had so many plans that I wanted to implement, but they were not organized or fully researched. YP4 gave me the time and space to organize, outline, research my ideas into a blueprint, and then pushed me to execute and tell people about my vision in a more organized and confident way

6. What piece of advice would you give to a current YP4 Fellows?

YP4 is an unforgettable experience! Make it the best and use the tools provided to you as ways you can impact the world. Also, keep in touch with other fellows in the program! They are here to support you and they keep you accountable with the plans within your blueprint.

7. Can you summarize in one sentence the impact YP4 has had in your life? 

YP4 gave me confidence in my work and molded me into becoming an open-minded and conscious changemaker.

8. What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered for being the cool and positive tall black guy who wants to have fun while changing the world.