During my campaign for City Council, I had the opportunity to speak with and learn from many people here in Charlotte. One noticeable challenge we face in Charlotte was confirmed repeatedly in my conversations: a distinct need for youth programming that is dynamic and engaging and uplifts and challenges our marginalized young citizens.
As a child, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study martial arts. When my parents divorced, the dojo became my second home, and it was there that I gained the tools that would lead me to success in my life — values like service, self-discipline, respect, and a commitment to constant and never-ending improvement. Families who are struggling to make ends meet don't have this opportunity. I was inspired to create the opportunity to share the disciplines and teachings of martial arts with our communities' youth and, this is what prompted me to create Emerge.
I want to give back what I mastered to any child that wants to learn.
So, I am excited to announce, in partnership with Principal Marc Angerer and Bruns Avenue Elementary a pilot program that will initially begin in April! The program will start with eight students and will gradually build in numbers from there. I will be providing this service free of charge to the school and these children but will need some necessary equipment.
But I need your help and support. In order for these children to train we will need to provide a safe environment for them. We need training mats, focus mitts and bags for kicking and punching, and shorts and t-shirts to practice in (uniforms will come later). I am humbly asking for your contribution to cause this opportunity to come to fruition for our youth. We at Emerge will be incredible stewards of your donations. We need your help to make this happen!