Greenleaf Motivation, Inc. was formed to provide a safe, nurturing and engaging environment where at-risk urban youth are encouraged to develop their full potential through participation in athletic competition. Greenleaf Motivation started out as Touch of Love Charitable Outreach in 2013 with a vision by its Founder/Executive Director, Raynetta Greenleaf, to change the culture and climate of Chicago’s reputation through its youth. The program started out helping provide housing for Foster Children giving them all the necessary need in a household to help stimulate their growth.
Now entering its 4th year of continuous growth, Greenleaf Motivation has held one of many successfully large tournament-based events including: live entertainment, youth workshops, vendors, and something for the entire community to enjoy. Greenleaf Motivation recognizes the effectiveness of including enrichment activities to spark curiosity and to develop a love for learning. We also recognize the need to foster self-worth and to develop each youth’s self-esteem and use a sports-based program to promote social, emotional, and behavioral skills. Additionally, conflict resolution, anger management and value centered critical thinking evolves out of peace circle discussions.
Our organization was founded to assist low-income children and adults with gaining an education, job training, and access to decent food in their communities. Greenleaf has provided programs and services for nearly 500 youth and families through our community driven events last year. We believe through our involvement with the community, we grow as people and connect with those around us.
“Don’t Shoot, Let’s Hoop” is a neighborhood festival anchored by a basketball tournament to be hosted in the Auburn Gresham community. The tournament and festival are going to be Greenleaf’s biggest effort yet, with attendees coming out to enjoy local food, local vendors, organizations, and performers from all genres from cultural to modern dance and blues to hip hop.
“Don’t Shoot, Let’s Hoop” will be a communal effort, both in planning and in participating in the actual tournament. The focus of the tournament is based on assisting at-risk urban youth and those disadvantaged by poverty through educational enrichment activities, artistic, cultural and social programs. Greenleaf Motivation has several stages of our proposed project which keeps youth off the streets and gets them through high school with good grades. Next is getting them into college, acclimating them and
keeping them there. We realize it is a major environmental transition and its vital that we help them every step of the way towards creating a life and setting an example for others that it is cool to be good in school, responsible and accountable for one’s actions, and a “gift” to the community vs terrorizing the community.