It’s hard for me to start this post because I can’t get my thoughts straight. I just started to write, to look at this page and think of an opening line. I’m blank, or maybe so full inside that I’m drawing blanks. This entire movement felt like medicine to my soul.
You’re probably wondering, “Lo, what movement?”.
Well, they go by the name “Do it 4 the Hood” and it’s pretty self explanatory. In the words of Glen ,the founder, it is “sisterhood, brotherhood, changing the livelihood and taking it to the neighborhood.” That’s deep! When I asked him what “HOOD” stood for he proudly let me know: Helping Our Own Develop.
They are a national program who will be traveling to New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma as well. They visit middle and high schools as well as colleges to spread a message of motivation and encouragement and then bring out a celebrity for a mini concert! Today, I’m telling you about the North Carolina tour with Mr. Motivation (a.k.a. Glen), Xso, and Jacquees.
Originally, I met Glen at Streetz 103.3. He introduced himself and showed me a video from a past “Do it 4 the hood” event. I heard his story and was touched.
Initially, my thoughts were just, “wow, he is doing a pretty awesome thing here”. I didn’t necessarily think about being directly involved or that I would be going on a tour with them a few weeks later. The thing most unexpected though was how deeply the message touched me as well!
We started the tour off in Charlotte, North Carolina at West Meck high school and then moved to Harding. Both school brought a different energy, but what they both had in common was enjoyment. They started the shows off with a little introduction and then Mario Micmanordj (from Streetz 103.3) got the kids lit with a dance competition against the “Do it 4 the hood” mascot, Head. Afterwards, Mr. Motivation came to tell his story.
(If I were to even attempt to give a brief summary of his story it wouldn’t do him justice. I will say though that it’s worth doing some research on so you can hear it as well. At the bottom of this post I’ll give you the info on where to find him. )
Once he told his message, he brought out the live entertainment and the students went crazy! Both Xso and Jacquees shared positive words with the students. Jacquees spoke about how he stayed in school even while pursuing his music career. I thought that was dope because so many kids these days don’t consider an education to be valuable if they are pursuing a career in entertainment.
After the two Charlotte high schools, we packed up and went to Streetz for an interview with Xso and Jacquees before heading to the second half of the tour.
Our second half took place in Winston Salem, NC. The first stop there was our last high school stop, Parkland High. Here, we faced the largest audience of the trip and the most rowdy, considering we met with them right at the end of their school day. When Xso came on stage they went CRAZY. Their performance was the best that I had seen all day and I could feel the energy from the kids throughout my whole body! They were very receptive to Glen’s message also.
After the assembly I met with a few of the students one girl let me know that last year “Do it 4 the Hood” came to the school and she hopes to see us next year. One male student came up to me and told me that this event is what encourages him to get up in the mornings and go to school. When I asked his favorite part, he told me Mr. Motivation, and that he wants him to come back every year! I know it’s moments like that Mr. Motivation lives for.
Last, we headed to WSSU (Winston Salem State University) to finish all we started. It was a welcome break from censorship with the students and had a different vibe. You guys are probably wondering, “why would you go to a college to encourage students to stay in school?”. Well, that’s a great question and I have an answer for you!
In college environments, Glen encourages the students to help raise up our younger generations and set them up for success. “Do it 4 the Hood” offers volunteer hours for college students asking for only two hours of their time, two days a week. A cool part about it is that they leave no room for excuses and offer transportation for volunteers as well. The college students loved the message, turned up for the performance, and I saw many hanging around afterwards for more information.
This school tour was amazing and I hope I can be a part of many more to help shape the generations of our future! You can follow them on Instagram @4thehood and give support to an awesome organization. You guys check in later for a new face mask I bought from Shea Moisture.
A special note to Mr. Motivation:
Thank you Glen. Not just for bringing me along on such a great experience, but for speaking to the child inside of me. Thank you for telling me what I wish I heard when I was younger and for giving me tools to be able to use as a mother for my own daughter. You changed my outlook and I know yesterday you changed lives, keep it up!