In 2002, John Muir High School principal Eddie Newman, Ed.D, recognized that the behavior of the male student body contributed to a number of concerns such as low academic scores, violence and truancy at the historical John Muir High School. She recruited community leaders: Tecumseh Shackelford, Gene Campbell, Velton Paggett, Johnie Driver, Del Yarbrough and Gary Moody to volunteer to work with school administrators and focus on the male students to bring order to the campus and cultivate a more positive learning environment. They worked with professionals as well as civic organizations to help the young men focus on respect, academic success and communication with their parents through mentoring. They invested their time and money into changing the lives of young men.
Since then, MPYD has evolved from a group of volunteers into a fully staffed organization. We continue to provide students with volunteer mentors, tutoring and exposure to motivational speakers during our daily free lunch discussion groups. Additionally, MPYD offers: academic monitoring, a summer residence camp, job placement assistance, Young Voices advisory period, field trips, student council and Pasadena City College MPYD Alumni program.
MPYD has successfully served over 2,000 male students since its inception and has a 96% high school graduation rate. MPYD was also asked to join the campus Attendance Team by school administration to assist with truancy and drop out retention. Many of our participants have been recruited and attend colleges such as: University of California at Berkley, University of Wisconsin, Wiley, Cal State Dominguez Hills, UCLA , Bucknell University, Pasadena City College and Southern Univeristy. MPYD has also placed over 450 young men in internships and positions of employment in industries ranging from construction, sales and customer service.
MPYD is supported by Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assembly Member Chris Holden, Pasadena Unified School Board (PUSD) Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald, PUSD Board Members Elizabeth Pomeroy and Scott Phelps, Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA), Carolyn Seitz, Stanley K. Ekstrom Foundation, Cardinal Paint, Brenda & Neal Galloway of Summit Enterprises, Sharp Seating, Smart and Final, The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and many other top law enforcement agencies and community business leaders.