Belair-Edison Youth Spotlight

Belair-Edison Youth Spotlight

Belair-Edison Youth Spotlight: Young Entrepreneurs

April 13, 2017

By: Ty Johnson

 

Dear Fellow Residents,

 

            On the evening of April 11, 2017, Tamiyah Patterson decided to—along with her baby sister and two close relatives—have a “Half and Half” stand in her community over Spring Break. It’s entitled Tamiyah and Dhayne’s Half and Half Stand. Tamiyah’s mother, Tammy Thompson, loved the idea and immediately began to help her daughter plan the logistics of managing a stand. Tamiyah’s dad, Wayne Patterson, supplied “protection” and stood off to the side to watch his daughter sell her product, with lots of pride I might add.

 

            Tamiyah knew that “half and halfs” would be a hit because according to her, “In Baltimore we love half and halfs”. That is a very astute observation given that Baltimore is famed for its chicken box and half and half combo. For those who may not know, half and half contains a mixture of sweet tea and lemonade. When Tamiyah was asked if she had made a profit on her investment as of yet she excitedly replied, “Yes!”

 

            Tamiyah received her inspiration to do the Half and Half stand from a camp entitled Community Connection which is held in Belair-Edison in the summer. The camp serves youth who do not have adequate access to quality summer programming. It is run by 23 year old Belair Edison resident Ty Johnson through his 501©3 non-profit KFX, Inc. The idea behind KFX, Inc. is for young adults to use their intellectual and social abilities to bring more resources into Belair-Edison for its youth and their families. With the camp this looks like partnering with various organizations for workshops surrounding financial literacy, literacy, and (more broadly) community engagement. One of the projects camp participants did last year was a flea market where they picked a location, developed inventory and pricing, specialized jobs based on their skills, and evenly split the money among one another at the end of the shift. This project encouraged Tamiyah Patterson to start her own endeavor this spring. Community Connection will be in session this coming July through the first week of August. The age range is 8 to 13 years old and registration is $25.00 for the entire month of the camp. Go to www.kfxchange.rocks for more information!

 

            When asked if she will be continuing the store, Tamiyah replied that she will. On that note, be on the lookout for her around the community on select days throughout the spring and summer!

 

            Please reach out to Ty Johnson at konqueredfearxchange@gmail.com if you know of any other youth in Belair-Edison doing entrepreneurial things! We as a community should highlight, praise, and support all of our youth!

Year in Review

Year in Review

KONQUERED FEAR XCHANGE

{Connecting the Community’s Youth One Resource at a Time}

 

                2016 was an amazing year for KFX! Our summer camp Community Connection was a major success!  Community Connection Camp youth read the book, The Giver, and discussed themes including the meaning and significance of living in a growing yet fragmented community on their lives. The book was also used as a basis for participants to think of their personal role in keeping the community healthy, strong, and vibrant.

KFX introduced young Community Connection campers to soccer addressing survey results showing interest in sports, particularly soccer, and a lack of resources and access to equipment and training. With 300 acres in Herring Run Park available to the Belair-Edison community there was plenty of space for campers to enjoy playing soccer and other sports and activities.

To create deeper civic engagement KFX hosted Delegate Cory McCray 45th District who came to teach campers about local and state government. The campers also took two field trips visiting The Reginald F. Lewis Museum and The Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Lastly, Jay Morrison from Young Minds Can, an organization geared toward the financial literacy of underserved people, came out and taught a workshop on financial literacy. The youth loved his workshop so much they decided to collaborate on a community flea market and give 10% of proceeds to a local resident, Makaila Keith, for her crafting business!

On August 27, 2016 KFX hosted a Back to School block party in the 3200-3300 blocks of Lake Avenue, 21213. The event was a success with around 50 fully stocked book bags given out and around 120 people fed. KFX also bonded with community residents and received crucial information on what Belair-Edison needs going forward.

To make things even better, Senator Nathaniel J. McFadden gave KFX a certificate for its service in the 45th District!!

With your help, we can continue doing the work of providing quality programming to youth in Baltimore City! Please consider going to www.kfxchange.rocks to donate! All donations are tax-deductible.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ty Johnson

President and CEO of KFX, Inc.

The Story of Erasing Fear

“I feel like there is something we can do,” said Lakia with as much sincerity as she could muster. “Yeah, me too, but it’s almost as if there is thin veil of fear that’s blocking us,” responded Ty. The feeling that surrounded Lakia’s comfy living room was pure confusion. “You know what?” asked Lakia. “What,” responded Ty. “We need to conquer our fear, there is no reason why we can’t use our skills to help better our community,” answered Lakia. Thus, Konquered Fear Xchange was born. On that day in January of 2015 we made a commitment to each other that we would do everything in our power to make a positive difference in our community.

So, what happened next? Naturally we had no idea what to do or who to connect with. We decided it would be in our best interest to get as much material on non-profits that we could find and begin the process of self-education. We went to a ton of community association meetings to understand what was going on around us. These efforts made us feel great, but underneath we knew that we were not fully wrapping our minds around what it means to be community leaders. It just wasn’t enough.

To add to our blissful optimism, yet lack of focus in early 2015 I had to return to school for the spring semester of my sophomore year. This proved to be a deafening blow to our dreams because at that point we lacked a sense of strategic planning, let alone planning effectively from two different states. We began to think about the problems of our community in a manner that allowed the thin veil of fear to encroach upon our minds again. The fundraiser we held in February of 2015 seemed a distant memory that really had no significance in the grand scheme of things. The contacts we made in early 2015 seemed unreachable because we did not know what to say. Our Instagram news journal faltered because our lives were full of academic and life work, let alone trying to plan for an organization or a way to remedy the issues that the youth of our community face. We would talk on the phone about the issues, which ranged from lack of access to quality extracurricular activities, lack of social capital, lack of positive role models, etc. We knew what had to be done, but we didn’t know what to do about it.

We decided to take a break from June 2015 until August 2015. Once we reconnected we had a passion for community work that burned much more fervently than the initial passion. We had both taken time to reach out to advisors and people who do community work to learn how to effectively plan and reach the hearts of the people in our underserved community. We recommitted ourselves to our initial pact and created a system of accountability as to not allow the thin veil of fear to divide us again. We made a conscious decision that we would have to be fearless in taking action, acquiring knowledge, reaching out to people who could help, and reaching out to the people we ultimately want to serve. The result is that now we have finally built a solid platform on which to stand. We know how to articulate our ideas. We know how to have substantive discussions, while also remaining grounded in our overall goal of helping the youth of our community. We know how we want to present ourselves in regards to image, and lastly, we know how to effectively work with one another despite having completely different lives.

The moral of the story is that it really took us a full year to conquer the fears we initially recognized plagued us. Through a ton of ups and downs we are determined to help others discover the sheer beauty of what it feels like to shed fear and take bold action, ultimately acquiring the power to change their lives. With a solid team backing us, and with the love that we have developed for ourselves, each other, and our work, we are now ready to serve our community in whatever capacity we are able to. We hope you join us in the effort and begin to conquer fear, one day at a time!

 

Sincerely,

Ty Johnson