Educating Young Minds

EYM alumni are attending and graduating from colleges from around the nation like Stanford, Cal Tech, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge, Clark Atlanta University, Columbia, Cornell, Dillard, Dickenson, Fresno State, Hampton University, Howard, Kentucky State University, Loyola Marymount, Morehouse, Northwestern, San Diego State, San Jose State, Santa Clara, Spelman, Syracuse, Tuskegee University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh, University of Puget Sound, University of the Pacific, USC, and Xavier. To truly express the impact of our programs, we would like to share the story of an EYM alumni in her own words: LaShia Ransom, EYM Graduate 1999 USC 2003, B.A. DEGREE, SCHOOL 2007, M.A. Counseling- Marriage and Family Child Therapy Founder Non-Profit "Enriching Communities" Once upon a time, I was known as a "selfish little girl with a horrible attitude", who at 14 knew everything and "didn't need anyone to tell me “Anything", until that one late evening when my mother found me sitting on my bed crying into my Trigonometry book, with my TI-82 in hand. My mom asked, "What was wrong?" With tears in my eyes, I looked at my mom for the first time feeling like a failure. I responded, "I don't know how to do this! I've failed my 2nd math test!" My mom felt the defeat and sadness in my words. She hugged me and told me, she would figure it out and she would get me some help. By the end of the week, my mother had found Educating Young Minds (EYM) and Ms. Echols in the yellow pages. I arrived at EYM, embarrassed to admit I needed help. (Please take note I had been an honor roll student since the first grade.) Asking for help was something I didn't know how to do. As my mother and I sat with Ms. Echols she looked at me, then at my mom, asking a lot of questions. I gave one word responses with the most negative attitude you could imagine. That's when Ms. Echols respectfully asked my mother to leave, no, she told her to get out of her office. What happened in that office I rather not mention today, just know that it was done with love and respect and I learned a lot of humility! The rest is history and was truly a blessing! Needless to say, not only did I pass my Trigonometry class, I became one of the first students to receive a scholarship from EYM in 1999 and graduated from USC with honors in 2003. In 2007, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Counseling- Marriage & Family Child Therapy. Today I am a very humble and proud wife and mother, who is employed with the Los Angeles County Probation Department as a Deputy Probation Officer II. Last year I co-founded my own non-profit organization, "Enriching Communities", to be an advocate for inner city youth suffering from substance abuse.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge


    Educating Young Minds, a non-profit learning center, is expanding the reach of its educational and counseling programs by undertaking a significant expansion of its pre-K programs and services. Through an innovative on-line program, Educating Young Minds is using its 25 years of experience to better serve the under-represented and at-risk population in Los Angeles. This on-line service will initially serve 2,500 students, allowing for a later expansion of up to 10,000 students. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EYM Educating Young Minds is a rich and diverse supplemental learning environment where students are encouraged to grow academically, emotionally and socially. Educating Young Minds grew out of the needs of many students and families for supplemental education and counseling, which over-stressed public schools could not meet. Mrs. Angeles Echols began Educating Young Minds, a non-profit learning center, 25 years ago in her one bedroom apartment in mid-city Los Angeles. She saw the need in our inner-city communities for supplemental educational and counseling services. A dysfunctional school district and unsupervised after school environments were, and still are, endangering young people and fueling unacceptable high school dropout rates. Through hard work, good business sense, and a deep understanding of humanity, Mrs. Echols built Educating Young Minds into a thriving community based organization that currently serves 277 students (pre-K through 12th grade) throughout the year with a staff of 25 teachers, 4 administrative staff, and 3 volunteers in a 12,000 sq. ft. state of the art learning center. Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. , EYM provides home study instruction, after school tutorial (The Ray Charles / Educating Young Minds Enrichment and Learning Program), standardized test prep classes, a six week summer program, and a college scholarship program that offers EYM high school graduates $6,000 to $12,000 college scholarships. EYM has empowered over 3,500 students with the skills and ability to enroll in, succeed at, and graduate from four year universities. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM • ACCESS / NO EXCUSE is an on-line tutorial program developed by Angeles Echols and Educating Young Minds collegiate graduates that provides students with a wide range of learning interactions from pre-K through college and beyond. The pre-K component is a comprehensive program that provides: 1. The EYM On-line Curriculum provides sequential lessons in mathematics and literacy. These bi-lingual learning interactions combine visual and audio learning approaches. Learning interactions move at the rate of the child, custom tailored to his or her needs and ability. Parents go on-line with the child and are encouraged to take a lead role in interacting in positive, educational, and fun activities. Parents have the option to turn off the sound and follow a prepared script that enables them to become the teacher. The curriculum is geared to encourage positive interaction between the parent and child. The material starts with basic classification and association, phonics, and then progresses to introducing numbers and letters to jumpstart the child’s educational development so that he or she is prepared for elementary school. The site also incorporates an incentive for the students to continue to progress through the curriculum through the use of a point system. A site member earns points for passing quizzes and tests, and they can then use the points to interact within the virtual world. 2. Virtual World Interactions allow parents and students to choose the subject, be it math, English, or phonics, and within the virtual world, they can interact with other students during the learning process. Students and parents interact with on-line resources and a free-roaming, 3-D, interactive virtual world representation of the Educating Young Minds Learning Center. 3. EYM Live / On-line is a direct video conferencing feed that connects parents and students to teachers, counselors and mentors at EYM’s learning center. Parents will work directly with teachers to provide early education opportunities for their children. Available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. of Fridays, EYM Live / On-line will serve families that cannot access area preschools. Parents on-line provides message boards for parents only, allowing them to interact with teachers, counselors, and each other. On-line communities can be excellent resources for support and information; Parents on-line provides a forum where parents can share their views, and reach out to others in the community. Using HTML5, this website is accessible on tablets, iPhones, and traditional desktops. ACCESS / NO EXCUSE is an on-line educational hub that has been built in large part by EYM alumni. These former students have graduated college and returned to EYM.