Making It to The Finish Line is a nonprofit organization created by Gladys Pearson in June of 2001. She is an educator who grew up in the area and became intimately involved with the issues facing urban area youth, especially those in the Detroit area. Considering all of the numerous statistics about the problems facing the black community she decided to do something to help change those numbers in a positive direction. Knowing that not all of the problems plaguing the community can be solved overnight, and so-called tough love might not be the best approach, she decided to create an organization.
Gladys can personally relate to the struggles of having a child at a young age while going to school to earn an education. Within the span of seven years she had earned a masters degree while holding a full time job. Realizing that this was an accomplishment that not everyone is able to meet, she decided to inspire kids to make sure that they can succeed at almost any task with the right skills and determination. The organization is her effort to give back to a community that has so much to offer the world.
Drawing on her background as an educator pointed her in the direction that kids need positive alternatives, and good role models to show them that they have a future and that they do matter. In the beginning the organization focused on females, but has since opened its doors to men because they could learn a lot from what the program offers. The way the program introduces alternatives is by creating events that are in stark contrast to images seen in the media involving inner city youth.
The cotillion ball and the young and debonair boot camp allows the kids to experience what is considered by most to be high society. Everyone gets to dress up and try to impress each other by perfecting a smooth transition into upper class mannerisms. The evening of excellence is a talent competition where the kids compete for scholarships. The contest includes singing, dancing, comedic talent, and anything else that showcases extraordinary skills. Let us not forget the tools for school that provides supplies to local area youth. This is just a way that the organization assist schools in their mission to educate the youth.
All things considered this organization is dedicated to education the youth of the community. As a nonprofit we need the help of the community to make our mission a success. Besides entertainment this organization strengthens the bonds that hold the community together. Not even retirement can keep a dedicated teacher like Gladys from teaching the youth lessons that will help them succeed in life.