Eldredge E. Washington
Eldredge E. Washington is a 24-year-old entrepreneur, organizer for community outreach programs and Executive Director of Atlanta’s Motivated Adults Developing Excellence (MADE). Through MADE, Washington fulfills his mission to help youth locate their purpose in life and reach individual goals. “During my senior year of high school, I realized I had a passion for community and youth development. Since I’ve started [MADE], I feel like I have discovered my purpose in life. My goal is to help every student I encounter begin to develop their leadership and career skills early on, so that they can tap into their life’s purpose and follow their vision.”
MADE is a mentoring program for middle and high school students that helps ensure that adolescents reach their full potential through community outreach. The mentoring program is held in group settings, and guided by college students and young professionals. MADE’s motto is: “We supply mentors who are young enough to connect, but old enough to respect.” By building relationships with positive role models, program participants are able to focus passions by seeing others achieve goals similar to their own aspirations. Washington says MADE’s mission is to “grant middle and high school students access to positive relationships in their community by providing quality mentors who will help them succeed in life through leadership and career development.”
MADE’s foundation rests on four pillars of success: character-building community service, positive entertainment, enrichment programs and field trips. MADE youth participate in community service as a way to give back and to strengthen the communities in which they live. Submersion into positive entertainment is aimed at uplifting and motivating youth to make positive choices with proper media representations. MADE’s enrichment programs are designed to educate youth on how to develop life skills, and enhance their character through health, IT and financial education. Field trips are sponsored by organizations such as Integrity Outreach, Kidd’s Dance Project and the Global Peace Youth Corps. These trips are designed to develop well-rounded individuals by exposing youth to various cultures and social change through local and international travel. Some MADE field trips included travel to Korea, Mongolia and Brazil.
Mentors reward MADE youth on a point system. This strategy keeps participants engaged in the material being taught. The point system is an incentive program to hold youth accountable for their actions. Points may be earned by participating in community service projects, charity drives, new student recruitment, ticket sales and earning good grades.
Eldredge E. Washington has been helping youth reach their goals and discover their purpose since 2008. To further his vision, Washington says he requires “Relationships, Resources and Real Estate, specifically an office headquarters.” His team has begun the process of obtaining federal 501(c)3 organization status. Washington hopes that this recognition will help accelerate and leverage MADE’s mission.