REAL Quotes

"The R.E.A.L. program was a pleasant surprise to Perspectives Charter School because it initially didn't appear to be an academic program, but it had a significant academic effect on at least 50% of our boys. Once they were in the R.E.A.L. program, the boys began to strive for achievement and I think it was based on a brotherhood that supported them. "

Kimberly Day
Co-director of Perspectives Charter School

"The R.E.A.L. program has been so good for our boys. It's an opportunity for our young men to bond, to work together, to think together, and to explore themselves together. It's made an impact on our kids here at Perspectives because they look forward to owning something; they look forward to going in and saying, "I have a voice in this. I'm going to own this." it's about building personal esteem. It's about kids seeing themselves in a position of leadership, having power, being empowered. It's about giving our young men an alternative to what's out there in the streets. They want to be a part of something meaningful and that matters to them where they can put their heart, their time and their intelligence into something. There's not enough of those opportunities and alternatives, and REAL does that for kids."

Diana Shulla-Cose
Co-director of Perspectives Charter School

"The R.E.A.L. program is a very positive initiative for the Latino and African- American communities. The program offers opportunities to those of us which do not have or had access to better offerings. It gives students a way out of the normal 'street routine' and into something more positive. It was a pleasure working with the R.E.A.L. program; I hope to work with you guys soon."

Jose Castrejon
Sound Engineer and Record Producer for Itzam-Na Records

"I like to think of the collaboration between R.E.A.L. and Street-Level Youth Media as a model for future partnerships. We brought together young people from different areas of the city to discuss on their own terms the issues most relevant to them. With guidance from Horace and I, the youth exercised critical thinking skills to look objectively at the influence of media in their lives. For most of them it was the first time that they defined in their own words exactly how young people can be influenced by outside forces such as media and that they have the power to determine the result of those influences. I believe that finding creative ways to demonstrate the value of critical thinking to young people is instrumental in demonstrating the value of living one's life consciously."

Adam Stiles
Street-Level Youth Media

"R.E.A.L. is an exemplary mentoring program for young persons in the inner city. Using the arts and thoughtful personal contact, participants learn to express themselves through reflection that adds purpose and meaning to their lives. I can say without hesitation that interacting with participants in R.E.A.L. is truly a moving experience. Horace Hall and several young men from R.E.A.L. visited a teacher education class that I teach and the students responded that it was one of the best class experiences they had ever had!"

Dr. William H. Schubert
Professor of Education
Coordinator of Graduate Curriculum Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

"The staff shows a real understanding of and concern for the young people enrolled in the program. I was truly impressed in their ability to relate with life experiences and create positive solutions and alternatives to violence."

Todd Barnett
Vice President, Institute for Positive Living

All content (c) 2005 REAL Youth Program, Inc.