A message from Eric…
I know you have all been wondering what’s the big announcement? Well as of July 31, 2010, I officially resigned from my position at Michigan State University.
The decision was difficult to say the least. However, based on the dismal condition of America’s inner city school systems, I was convinced that I needed to follow my lifelong dream of creating “Project Access” The Tour.
You’re saying, “What is Project Access?” Project Access is a grassroots initiative aimed at encouraging 100,000 students from inner city schools to commit to attending a 2 or 4-year institution. On this tour, “Team Access” and myself will travel to hundreds of America’s underachieving school systems and provide underserved students with the academic and personal development skills needed to gain ACCESS into the American Dream. We will be partnering with local colleges, community centers, businesses, churches and other stakeholders throughout the country in order to ensure that we leave an Access chapter in the school system once we leave their site. Access chapters are designed to ensure that students are left with quality mentors, role models, and academic action plans needed to support their pursuit towards attending and graduating from college.
I’m going to be honest; I am a doer so I don’t have a lot of patience for talkers, which explains why in the past my team and I have championed this cause without the support of other stakeholders. But the response to the “Secret to Success” videos along with thousands of emails that have been pouring in daily, have given me a newfound belief in the American people. Your support has allowed me to see that thousands of people just like myself are fed up with the current state of urban education, and are ready to move to action!
What is the problem?
There is a vast gap between the academic performance of impoverished schools and affluent schools. Specifically, affluent schools outperform impoverished schools in areas including Math, Reading, and Science. Unfortunately, the schools that need the most help are the schools that can LEAST afford it.
How can you help?
Purchase a DVD or T-shirt from www.etthehiphoppreacher.com. Proceeds will go directly to funding the “Project Access” Tour. Your purchase will assist us in offsetting the cost of expenses such as: gas for the tour bus, hotel and food expenses for the Cyclebreaker Team, backpacks, laptops, T-shirts, and prizes for the students in attendance, just to name a few.
What are other ways I can help?
Please, use your influence to support this work. You may know school administrators or influential community leaders seeking support in their building or community. Call them and let them know that they need to contact “Project Access” to make their location the next stop for our team!
Finally, sign up to become a CycleBreaker in your community! Volunteer to read a book to elementary school students, sign up to coach a little league team, start a concerned fathers program within your child’s school, sign up to be a lunch room assistant, or create a mentoring organization at a local community center. Whatever you do, become a Cyclebreaker and make a difference. And please, capture your work and send your success videos and stories to the website so we can post them and show others what the Power of One truly looks like.
In closing, I’m asking you if I have done anything for you thru my messages, if I have motivated you in any way to become a better student, husband or wife, businessman or woman, or just motivated you to continue to thrive in an area in which you were already excelling, please support this cause! I am confident that if we use this opportunity to come together WE will be able to look back twenty or thirty years from now and say, “WE didn’t just talk about the problem, WE solved it!”
Eric Thomas (E.T.)