A non-profit teaching D.C.’s children about themselves

MOMIE, a non-profit based on Georgia Avenue is making a change in the classrooms and beyond.

WASHINGTON- Mentors of Minorities in Education (MOMIE’s) a non-profit organization based in D.C. and Maryland, is doing all it can to help minority youth in Washington D.C. and Maryland reach their full potential.

This organization exposes minority children from the ages of 2-19 to important figures who aren’t necessarily highlighted in today's classrooms, while helping them believe in themselves and achieving success.

“So instead of talking about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, we talk about individuals such as Emmanuel Jal who was a child soldier. We talk about all these important people with the children to empower them to become great people themselves,” said Elise Roberts the vice president of development and operations associate at MOMIE’s. 

MOMIE has a total of six sites based in Ward 1 and Ward 5 which reaches 600 children weekly. They have various programs including an after-school program, summer camps, youth ambassadors, and a parent and community engagement program.

“Our mission is to nurture the genius of children and creative a transformative learning experience. We try to use the arts, humanities, and social justice to create a more holistic experience for the children,” said Olaide Ajomagberin, an AMERICOR VISTA Intern at the orgnization.

Mentors of Minorities in Education is located on Georgia Avenue in Washingon D.C.-
Kayla Irby/Image

At MOMIE’s, aspects like these are incorporated in everyday sessions.

Ajomagberin says that minority youth are not taught about important black figures all the time and they try to change that. 

“Sometimes we don’t learn about the great black people in school all the time. We try to use that too for them to be more aware of who they are as black individuals,” said Ajomagberin.

Their main activity which makes them so unique; according to an employee, is the “great person’s series” where they teach the children heroes who aren’t often highlighted.

The organization has expanded in the past year, going from about three sites to having six sites.

 “What I find most rewarding about working with MOMIE’s, is the kids and how unique the organization is. Seeing that the kids take what they learn here at MOMIE’s with them for the rest of their lives is the best,” said Damian Fontanez, the program/site director for The Children's Gallery of Black History.

The organization was started in the year 2000 by Ayize Sabater who originally did after-school programs in Atlanta Gerogia. 

“He is the visionary for this organization and creating this multicultural curriculum,” said Fontanez.

This program plans to continue their mission and offer its services to minority children in the D.C. and Maryland area.