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Meet Shandranekia Copeland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shandranekia Copeland. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Please kick things off for us with some background on the story.
RHIOT (Reaching out to Help Inspire Our Teens) is meant to be the bridge between children and adults. Our main focuses are anti-bullying, anti-suicide, and dropout rate decrease. We want kids to be able to learn to trust adults by bonding with “teammates” and mentors. All proceeds and donations will benefit the educational development as well as social entertainment with the children. Students will have the opportunity to be trained to be Mentors to their peers because we believe that by providing purpose it will drive a person to want to fulfill their dreams and stay a part of the world. RHIOT was thought of by Shandranekia Copeland when she was just a teen herself trying to find her way in the world. Growing up dealing with troubles at home and school she felt the only way she could get away from it would be to take her life. She didn’t because someone thought enough about her to reach out and help her get through it. It was then she saw for herself that people did care and help was available if she was willing to accept it. She spoke with her mentor about what she was dealing with and he allowed her to lead a program and it helped her find purpose in why she was here. She vowed that one day she would do the same for others. As of right now, the ONLY thing stopping us is having the building. With your help, we can bring something positive to the community that will help mold the youth and set a positive path for their future.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, I’ve had to learn so much on the spot about starting and running a nonprofit. My biggest hurdle is trying to get sponsors to fund my program. No one knows me here. I’m just a girl from the small town of Crystal Springs, MS trying to make a better life for our youth but that’s not enough most times. I struggle with the fact that I can’t do this without a team and although I’m building a great one, it gets hard to delegate tasks.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Lately, I have been doing home visits to talk to girls and guys mostly between 13 to 17. I have four I see regularly. I just want to be able to help the parents by providing and unbiased ear to listen to them and help the child out where the parent can’t or just don’t have the resources for at the moment. I’ve fed hungry families, passed out hygiene boxes and more.

What matters most to you?
Helping to shape the minds of our youth in a positive way. To show them more love than the hate they see in the world and on social media. I want them to see they aren’t alone and when we finally get our building, I want them to be able to express themselves and be celebrated for it.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Joshua “Supamann” Barnes

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