Society: Launch of 5MK
Quincy Jones, Tyrese Gibson, amongst other celebrities and community leaders hope to keep five million kids in school through an initiative launched by Operation HOPE called 5MK (Five Million Kids).
Last week the launch event, drew the likes of radio personality Devi Dev, hip hop duo Fizz & Boog, Rocsi, Day 26 and others to Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School. The event featured panels and workshops for about 1,200 children focusing on the importance of education, digital empowerment and financial literacy led by celebrities, government leaders, and education officials.
An essential component of the program is the digital empowerment initiative dubbed iHope. This aspect of 5MK combines digital knowledge and entrepreneurship by training kids to become certified Apple programmers and allowing them to sell their applications through Apple’s web store.
The initiative is the brainchild of HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. According to Bryant, “Statistics show that one child in America is dropping out of school every 26 seconds. HOPE believes the drop out epidemic is ultimately a huge drag on the American economy. It is critically important that we change the cultural tide and Make Smart Cool and Sexy.”
Amongst those involved with the initiative include music icon Quincy Jones, the national co-chair, ambassador Andrew Young, digital chair Quincy (QD3) Jones III, and celebrity ambassadors including actor/singer Tyrese Gibson, actor/director Robert Davi, and social commentator Jeff Johnson. Also joining them were Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines, California State Superintendent Jack O’Connell, and other community leaders.
Bryant hopes that this event will be the beginning of major change for teens across America. “At the core of the 5MK is a national campaign to re-brand education in the minds and hearts of young people,” said Bryant. The 5MK initiative will teach five million kids, their parents and teachers how to get rich legally through financial literacy, the language of money, free enterprise capitalism, and ownership.”
To keep up to date on the progress, visit www.5MK.org.