This week Janice Hadaway answers a few questions about Destiny Independence USA.
What is the purpose of your organization/club? The mission of Destiny Independence USA is that of preparing hundredsof economically disadvantaged young people in East and South Rome for eventual adult employment by mentoring them as children and youth all the way through high school, college or job training and into adult employment. Fostering social and financial independence, emotional stability and training to become moral, contributing members of society as they reach adulthood are the core objectives of the mentoring program.
How is your organization/club funded? We are funded through donations from the community and from grants whenever possible.
How did you obtain this position, and why did you pursue this position? After mentoring three children for eight years, I realized in April 2016 that the three had grown to thirty children! The realization that there are so many young people in East and South Rome who are missing out on many important opportunities simply because of a lack of some basic resources (i.e., transportation, tutoring, church) prompted me to found DIUSA and become its first Executive Director. There is no doubt in my mind that all these children need the long-term attention they receive through DIUSA in order to have a shot at a better life as they become adults.
What do you enjoy most acting as a part of this organization? Hands down the most rewarding aspect of this position is watching the children grow academically, personally and spiritually as the years go by as a result of our mentoring.
What is your organization’s biggest challenge? Timely communication is probably our greatest challenge. We live in a world of far too many modes of communication, voice mail, texting, multiple forms of social media, pony express. At first blush, one might think that this would facilitate communication, but that isn't the case for us. Instead, we find ourselves constantly guessing which of the many modes of communication will most likely reach each of our members and their parents. Block email? Facebook messenger? Snapchat? USPS? Trying to keep every member and their parent or parents informed about every activity is a constant challenge and very time consuming.
Does the organization uses volunteers? At present we are able to use volunteers as teachers of various life skills classes, participants in occasional fundraisers and are currently in great need of an Assistant to the Director. We also use adult volunteers as chaperones on our fieldtrips but we rarely have a problem finding enough for those activities! Eventually, when we are blessed to own a 15 passenger van, we will need transport drivers. All adult volunteers must be cleared through a background check and drivers must pass a DMV check.
Is there something else you would like to say to our readers? What DIUSA does with the children and youth in our program is difficult for some in the community to fully grasp as there are few, if any, other organizations anywhere who do what we do. We literally follow and mentor our members starting as early as age eight all the way through high school, college and into their first adult job. We essentially function as a second set of parents, monitoring the academic, moral, psychological and spiritual growth of the children, providing them with the information and resources that they need in order to become successful adults many years from now. This is such an intensive endeavor that we are in great need of either a volunteer Assistant to the Director or enough funding to provide a salaried position. The community could be of great help in providing this funding. Currently we are an all-volunteer organization.
Name of nonprofit: Destiny Independence USA
Director: Executive Director Janice Hadaway
Location: We are currently using the facility of New Life Church of God on 18th St. in East Rome and occasionally the Second Avenue Baptist Church facility for classes and events.
How long organization in Rome/Floyd: Destiny Independence USA was founded in April 2016 to serve the East and South Rome communities.
Hours: We are not open to the public. Our hours of operation are based on the needs of our members.