Mentee of the Month – Zayah Feaster

Zayah FeasterZayah Feaster is fourteen-years-old and is a freshman at Riverside High School.

As a member for three years, Zayah believes that MOY has taught him how to help out others. He also values the advice and input his mentors have given him in both his academics and life outside of school. The connections he has made throughout his time at MOY are very important to him and he hopes to make more in the future.

Leonard McNair and His Passion for Debate

Leonard McNairLeonard McNair, an active MOY member for two years now, is following his dreams and passion through the art of debate. Leonard began with an interest in becoming a lawyer; therefore he joined the Woods Charter Debate team. As time went on, he found that his real passion was in business. “In business, oral presentations are common; and public speaking and advocation for certain points provide a great training ground for me,” says McNair.

Leonard’s debate team is a nine-person team, including another fellow MOY member, Jared Ballen. The team competes in Public Forum in weekly tournaments. Two teams debate the pros versus the cons of the respective topics chosen each month. “I love the competitions themselves - listening and dissecting my opponent’s argument provides a structural way to exercise my natural urge to be argumentative,” says McNair. Although Public Forum is currently the only event that Woods Charter Debate team participates in, they are looking to branch out to other offered events and tournaments after their successful season.

His mother, Anita Jones-McNair, believes her son is benefitting greatly from being a part of the successful and driven debate team. “It has provided him an opportunity to develop skills necessary to succeed in school and life,” says Jones-McNair.

Leonard’s natural drive for success in life is also seen in his participation in Movement of Youth. “MOY has been a wonderful opportunity for him to get out of his comfort zone, meet new people, learn, grow and develop skills for success,” says Jones-McNair. “It has made a different in Leonard’s life and I know in all the youth that participate, too."

As Leonard continues to excel in the many activities he is involved in – basketball team, yearbook staff, student council, and the debate team, along with a rigorous course load – he is also thinking about what is next for him. Leonard is considering a double major in business and psychology or sports journalism. As a junior in high school, he is just beginning to research all the possibilities his future holds.

Martin Kendrick’s Involvement and Accomplishment in the North Carolina Youth Legislative Assembly

Martin KendrickMartin Kendrick is a junior at Cary Academy and a co-chair of the North Carolina Youth Legislative Assembly. The assembly is a mock legislative session where high school students voice their opinions on issues pertaining to local, state, and federal government. In March, Martin will attend a three-day conference to present his bill, “An Act To Increase The Minimum Drop Out Age of North Carolina Public School Students.”

Martin says that, “My favorite part of YLA is debating the bills. I have to research issues, and debating allows me to think about the pros and cons of the argument, which I may not normally do.”

Martin’s main interest in legislation is due to his passion for medicine and healthcare. Nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum for Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Martin will have the opportunity to take an interactive role in the study and practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare under the guidance of leading physicians and medical students in the United States.

IAMGREAT Project

Movement of Youth recently participated in the "Power of Youth in Service" Forum featuring one of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel West. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show.

This event was hosted by one of our partners, the Cornel West Academy of Excellence. The event was the launch of the "IAMGREAT" project, an initiative where multiple youth serving organizations will partner on community service projects, including:

  • Cornel West Academy of Excellence
  • Movement of Youth
  • Clarence E. Lightner Y Achievers Program
  • Preparing America's Tomorrow Today
  • African American Leaders of Tomorrow
  • D.L. Forbes Youth Foundation
  • Our Youth Matters

To join the IAMGREAT Project, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..