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Rites of Passage

ELV is built from multiple perspectives to meet the needs of our boys, their families and the community they come from. Our ultimate goal is for each ELV Boy to become a constructive member of his community.  A community-wide rites of passage ceremony will be held to transition ELV Boys to ELV Young Men.


ELV Boys will explore the following self examination:

Who are you?

Where do you come from?

What are your responsibilities to yourself?

What are your responsibilities to your family?

What are your responsibilities to your community?

What are your responsibilities to humanity?


Philadelphia Tribune

“The ultimate goal for Black boys to become Black men is through months and years of studying the rites of passage. The ultimate goal of the rites of passage is to develop greater leadership roles for the youth and the younger Black boys in the Black communities. By teaching Black boys critical thinking and to understand themselves and the world around them, they will determine what it means to be a man and a leader.

Search Institute’s Developmental Assets® Framework.

The ELV rites of passage program aggressively combines transformative organizing strategies and parent advocacy utilizing Search Institute’s Developmental Assets® Framework.


Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).


ELV Family & Community Engagement

Our Village Dinner Nights and gatherings will provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for the   ELV Boys and their community and family members to center the following development assets:


  • Trauma Informed & Restorative Practices to Stimulate Greater Sense of Love and and Support

  • Positive Family Communication to Strengthen Trust for Guidance and Counsel

  • Greater Academic Accountability Promoting Academic Achievement and Success

  • Family Boundaries for Establishing Clear Rules and Consequences 

  • Personal Power and Control Over Things that Happen in One’s Life

  • Purposeful Living and Self Worth 

  • Positive View of the Future 

ELV Saturday Work Program

ELV Boys will receive weekly cash stipends for their participation.

ELV is joining COR and the CLEAN STREETS YOUTH PROGRAM to address several areas of community development including environmental health, youth employment and civic engagement in the East Winston community.


Clean Streets Program Goals:

  • Provide youth an introductory experience to a structured work environment

  • Provide a means for youth to earn money engaging in meaningful work

  • Improve the environmental conditions of our neighborhood

  • Empower youth to serve as peer role models to other youth in the neighborhood

  • Make a positive impact on the cultural norms of the neighborhood regarding waste management

Sat. Work Program


In collaboration with community partners, ELV Boys will engage in social entrepreneurial pursuits as well as receive exposure to a variety of trades.

Empowering Black children is more than teaching math and reading skills.  It is more than preparing them for public sector jobs or high ranking positions in other people’s communities.  They must know how to compete for wealth and power rather than poverty and acceptance, to produce rather than consume, and to be job producers rather than job seekers.


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