Ife Bell, People of Excellence Executive Director & Board Chair
Cincy Chic: What is People of Excellence?
Ife Bell, People of Excellence Executive Director & Board Chair: People of Excellence (P.O.E.) is an after school and summer enrichment program designed to provide 3rd-8th grade youth with foundational life skills that will help with their future development. Our program teaches life skills, through three pillars of focus “Life as a Lady/Gentleman,” Healthy Living” and “Prepared for Tomorrow.” Collaborating with community schools, local businesses, parents as well as other entities that have an interest in the success of young people. Established in 2007, through the collaboration of our program partners, this curriculum-based program has grown to impact the lives of more than 400 students to date throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. Our goal is to make this program a main stay in all community schools in Greater Cincinnati Community.
Cincy Chic: When did it launch?
Bell: We launched in 2007 with a high school curriculum. In 2009, we launched the middle school. In 2011, we launched the elementary school model.
Cincy Chic:What’s the inspiration behind People of Excellence?
Bell: The inspiration of the mission and vision of the organization is driven by three young ladies, my two daughters and my mentee, and my passion to see all youth have the opportunity to flourish into thriving engaged citizens.
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Bell: The mission and vision of the organization are driven by a collection of like minded individuals passionate about impacting the lives of young people in the area of life skills. I serve as the Executive Director and Founder. I am joined at People of Excellcenc eby Melvina Stokes, Ursula Snead, Alisha Rodgers, Jonathan Chiles, and Alan Geans. We believe why re-invent the wheel when we can be stronger together through collaboration and partnership. A few of our partners include Eagles Community Development Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Center for Better Health & Nutrition, Jag’s Steak & Seafood, PNC Bank, and The Sister Accord. We continue to seek out additional partnerships.
Cincy Chic: What are your goals for People of Excellence?
Bell: Our goal is to make this program a main stay in all community schools in Greater Cincinnati Community. It is also our goal is to provide healthy life choices for youth in a safe environment.
Cincy Chic: How are you giving back to the community?
Bell: Most of the problems facing today’s youth are not restricted to any one ethnic or religious group, but affect young people as a whole. Most discussions on youth have focused on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality and poverty. In addition to these, today’s youth are affected by new challenges.
· An Identity Crisis: Who am I?
· Lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem and lack of role models
· Unhealthy images
· Peer pressure
· Confusion and ambiguity concerning moral issues: What is right and wrong?
· The negative impact of the digital media
· Competitiveness in education: the uneven playing field: Excellence by whom? Not Me.
Our goal is to provide healthy life choices for youth in a safe environment.