The Onward and Upward Foundation funds endeavors that are assisting others in moving toward greater self-actualization and greater awareness of the power of love, joy, gratitude, and compassion in our lives and communities.
Below are two organizations we support that have demonstrated their attunement with our mission with very effective results. Please read about them below and help us expand their worthwhile impact for enabling others to move Onward and Upward!
Journeymen is a youth-serving non-profit with the mission to encourage compassionate, inspired and resilient young men through nature-based rites of passage, mentorship, and community engagement.
Thriving and vibrant societies from past and present have traditionally offered community-based initiation experiences to welcome youth into adulthood. However, many youth in modern society will never experience an intentional Rite of Passage. Journeymen recognizes the impact this gap has on boys and young men who often face tremendous pressure to fit into the “Man Box," an unhealthy and inauthentic image of manhood. Many of these boys will later go on to hold leadership positions in our communities.
Journeymen facilitates vital experiences to guide the men of tomorrow to discover their authentic gifts, create a strong vision for their future, and fully engage in their lives through meaningful service and effective, heart-centered action.
Boys who participate in Journeymen…
- Increase attendance at school
- Improve listening & communication skills
- Develop a positive personal identity
- Build meaningful inter-generational relationships
- Feel a sense of belonging in their lives
- Expand their ability to empathize and take the perspective of others
- Develop a core set of values
- Improve ability to resolve conflict
- Engage in meaningful service for school and community
- Increase awareness of emotions and their influence on behavior
- Increase decision-making & problem solving skills
Through their initiatives, Journeymen is deeply committed to fostering equitable and regenerative communities that reduce the ill-effects of unhealthy masculinity present in our world today, including sexual assault, violence against women, and the excessive abuse of natural resources.
Journeymen works in schools, through outdoor experiences and multi-dimensional camps, as well as providing mentorship training to other facilitators and leaders. They currently work in the Seattle-Tacoma area, but with sufficient funding, we envision their influence spreading far beyond the Pacific Northwest region.
From a parent: “There really are no words that do justice to how much gratitude I have for Journeymen to be a part of my son’s life – thank you – never underestimate the impact you are making in so many lives.”
From a participant: “The experience was completely life changing – actually 100% life changing. I haven’t felt this good. Ever.”
From a Superintendent of Schools: “The CIRCLES program has given our most at-risk students both a sense of empowerment and responsibility for making the world around them a better place.”
Journeymen’s effective in-school and outdoor initiatives are helping to create a cultural shift toward a more thoughtful male culture, attuned with personal integrity and service to others. Your donation will help more boys and communities benefit from the mentoring, experiences, and personal support they provide.
Thank you for your support and generous donation!
An anonymous donor covers our Foundation expenses,
so 100% of your donation will go to the programs we support .
Berea College in Kentucky offers a high-quality college degree to promising but economically challenged students, enabling them to graduate with little or no student debt by means of their unique work-study programs and service-learning opportunities. Established in 1855, it was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Its 1600 undergraduate students come primarily from Appalachia but include nearly every state and 60 foreign countries. One-third of the student body are students of color.
All students work 10-15 hours per week while carrying a full load of academic classes. Berea offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in 32 majors, and students choose their work options from 100 college and off-campus work opportunities. About 160 students study, intern, or teach abroad each year. Extra-curricular programs and NCAA sports are part of campus life. The college values and promotes health and wellness, sustainable living, plus eco-friendly buildings, grounds, and facilities.
Letter from a graduate
Dear Friend of Berea,
( photocopy of letter is below, retyped here for easier reading)
Hello, my name is Angelica Gantt. Thank you for investing in my future. You have given me so many fresh opportunities, and it would not have been possible without your generous gifts.
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where I was educated at inner-city public schools. In my senior year in high school I was introduced to Berea College when I won the Carter G. Woodson Legacy Award. The prize included the opportunity to attend Diversity Weekend at Berea which gave me a greater appreciation for the college and the town.
In that same year, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, my aunt was diagnosed with lung cancer, and my father lost his job. These obstacles could have left me hopeless due to the pressure to stay home and care for my family, but my dreams became reality when admissions recruiters introduced us to Berea College. We instantly knew it was my best option.
The opportunity to get a college education without massive student debt has changed my life and I feel very fortunate to share my story. I am the first of my family to attend college, and as an African-American woman from an urban public school, I didn’t experience much political, cultural, religious, or ethnic diversity. This made me close-minded to others’ views, but Berea’s diverse student body, staff, and faculty helped me open my worldview to new outlooks.
In the fall of 2018, I decided to become a double major in African and African-American (AFR) Studies and Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. My AFR courses allowed me to learn and appreciate more about my history, my identity, and the diversity within the African and African-American diaspora. Moreover, interning at the United Nations and studying abroad in China this past summer has given me a better understanding of the needs and challenges many developing countries face.
After graduating from Berea College in December 2019, I will pursue a dual degree in Law and International Relations. This will give me the chance to fight for justice for others on a global scale. I never dreamed of accomplishing so many goals while earning my undergraduate degree, but the entire Berea community – including you – helped equip me with the skills, resources, and opportunities to dream bigger than ever.
Without people like you investing in my future, I would not have gotten this far. One day, I hope to become a philanthropist, to give back to Berea College and the other communities that supported me throughout my journey. Again, thank you so much for your continued gifts.