Street Smart Youth Project Inc. Winter 2017 Newsletter


Street Smart Youth Project Inc.

Winter 2017 Newsletter

Happy Holidays from Street Smart Youth Project!

Who Got The Keys???

By: Tempestt Johnson, MBA

Annually, Street Smart Youth Project hosts a youth development retreat which emphasizes exposure opportunities and alternatives to risky behaviors. The theme for this years’ brotherhood/sisterhood retreat was “Who Got the Keys?” Each activity was designed to strengthen/address key areas to success and emotional and physical health. Throughout the retreat, youth learned how to get and use the keys that you need to live your best life. We also learned how people, places and things can influence the access we have to our most important keys to life. Our youth also learned how making healthy choices about what we allow to influence us can be used to help us grow and achieve our goals. Over time and with practice, working on getting these major keys can support a long, happy, and healthy life! During every activity for the “Who Got the Keys” retreat weekend, youth challenged themselves to not only identify their own major keys to success, but to help their brothers and sisters along the way.

This year, we took a trip to the scenic Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The fresh air and change of scenery allowed our youth to unwind, relax, and focus on the keys to our emotional and physical health. Over the course of three days, we identified those major keys by having relaxing yoga and dance sessions, mentoring groups, cook-off challenges, healthy relationship games, a bonfire, scavenger hunts, and evidence-based substance use prevention intervention.

The response from our youth who participated in the retreat experience supports the assertion that a change of environment can be influential in their triumph and resilience. Through exposure to new and positive experiences, youth are given a new outlook on the things they can achieve and the places they can go.

Please click on the link below to see highlights from this years retreat.


World AIDS Day

By: Antoinette Parks

World’s Aid Day was designed to give people around the world the opportunity to come together and fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an Aids- related illness. World’s Aid’s Day was founded in 1988 as the first global Health Day. World’s Aids Day take place annually on December 1st.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is transmitted through five bodily fluids; Blood, breast milk semen, vaginal fluids and anal fluid. HIV can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.

Street Smart Youth Project has a legacy throughout Atlanta, delivering prevention and early intervention services for youth related to HIV/STI’s and pregnancy! We pride ourselves in keeping the communities we serve informed, prepared and empowered. This year, we contributed to the celebration of World’s Aid Day awareness through community outreach. Our youth were able to spread awareness by providing HIV prevention education and condom distribution within the communities we serve.

Street Smart Youth Spotlight

By: Jarrett Wilson, BA

Street Smart Youth Project would like to highlight Mouhamed Bah as our youth of the year! Mouhamed is from Northwest Atlanta and attends B.E.S.T. Academy, where he is currently a sophomore student. After graduation he plans to attend Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Vanderbilt, or Georgia Tech, majoring in computer science and/or business management and administration. Since joining SSYP, Mouhamed has participated in youth advisory council, completed our BART and Life Skills programs, aided in outreach programming, and partook in on our college tour and yearly retreat. He has also gained valuable work readiness and functional skills. Recently, he attained his driver’s license and participated in an in- service series focusing on entrepreneurship! During all of these valuable intern activities Mouhamed participated in, he was exceptional in representing our organization and what it means to be “Street Smart.”

For Mouhamed to be Street Smart means “To have perseverance and come out strong throughout whatever you do………and then you share your experiences with others and help build up each other so they don’t go through some of the same obstacles.”  Mouhamed was noble in living by those standards and exemplifying those qualities, even when no one was watching. We asked Mouhamed, ‘how has Street Smart impacted or helped you since becoming an intern?’ His response; “Street Smart has helped me a lot since becoming an intern. It helped me become more mature then I was last year. Also, it made change my outlook on working with others. Last but not least, it made me more humble and grateful for everything I ever faced even the wrongs.”

We want to thank and acknowledge Mouhamed for all of his hard work and dedication throughout this year! It was a pleasure working with him, and we always knew no matter what it was that we could count on him to get the job done. He is our 2017 IOTY (Intern of the Year!) Mouhamed has earned significant achievements this year including Ranking in the Top 2 in his class, receiving 1st Place at his school’s Science Fair and becoming a REACH Scholarship recipient. We know that you will continue to do great things, and represent what it means to be Street Smart!

Winter Fun In Atlanta

By: Desha Smarr, Youth Intern

Image result for winter fun

Winter is here! Even though the temperature has dropped, you still have the opportunity to enjoy special moments with family and friends. Below is a list of fun activities to do in the Atlanta area.

Rudolph Puppet Show

Dec. 15, 2017

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a puppet version of the classic TV show at the Center for Puppetry Arts

Holiday Variety Show

Dec. 15-16, 2017

A Very Merry Holiday Pop stars Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, gleeful youth choruses, a drum line, merry songs, and a jitterbugging Santa at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Jingle Ball concert

Dec. 15, 2017

Power 96.1 radio brings big-name music artists to Jingle Ball at Philips Arena.

Holidays Around the World

Dec. 14, 2017 – Jan. 07, 2018

Winter Wonderland celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays with twinkling lights and trees hung with ornaments and cultural objects at Fern bank Museum of Natural History. Closed Nov. 23 & Dec. 25

Aquarium Holiday

Dec. 14-31, 2017

Festival of Season features a light and music show, tree-lighting ceremonies, Santa and SCUBA Claus, and live entertainment at Georgia Aquarium. See schedule.

African-American Nutcracker

Dec. 15, 2017

Set on Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s, the Urban Nutcracker features “professional dancers and urban minority youth, dancing to the traditional Tchaikovsky score and newly adapted music” at Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.

Christmas symphony

Dec. 20, 2017

Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a story created by the legendary Robert Shaw and told by more than 400 musicians

Celtic Concert

Dec. 16-17, 2017

Celtic Christmas features fiddlers, dancers, singers, and a harpist from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Appalachia at Rialto Center for the Arts

Holiday Lights – Botanical Garden

Dec. 14, 2017 – Jan. 07, 2018

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights features high-tech light displays, illuminated attractions, model trains, and restaurants at the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlantic Station Ice Skating Rink

Nov 2017 – Feb 2018

Ice Skate with family and friends and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa!

Marietta Ice Center

Dec. 1, 2017 – Jan. 13, 2018

Public Ice Skating on the main ice!

Get out and enjoy!





Street Smart Youth Project Inc.
Street Smart Youth Project Inc.

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Holiday Gift Drive

Please visit the following locations to donate to our Holiday Gift Drive!! Or, you can still donate online at

Street Smart Youth Project, Inc.

781 Wheeler St, Atlanta, GA 30318, Suite 15

No Mas! Cantina

180 Walker St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30313

Perrine’s Wine Shop (Monetary Donations Only)

1168 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

3 Parks Wine Shop

451 Bill Kennedy Way SE #C, Atlanta, GA 30316

Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe

840 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Holiday Office Party and Gift Wrapping Event
Come join us for our annual holiday giving on Wednesday, December 20 from 3- 7pm, 781 Wheeler Street NW, Suite 10, Atlanta GA 30318.

Georgia Gives Day!

In an effort to facilitate exposure to new things and show our youth that the world is as big as their imagination, SSYP began our Passport program. Through the Passport program, our youth get the experience of traveling to countries virtually. But, in 2018, we are planning to travel to Nassau, Bahamas, on our first real international journey. This country was chosen due to its proximity to the USA and the lower associated costs. In the future, we would like to take our youth to Africa, Asia, and Europe!

Please continue to contribute to our efforts using the following link!

 Street Smart Youth Project Documentary

Check it out and like on our YouTube page!! WATCH NOW

New Drop-in Center

Please be sure to visit our new drop- in center, in partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation @  740 Cameron M. Alexander Blvd. Atlanta GA 30318.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 3 PM- 8 PM

Welcome New Staff!
Aunyia S. Ames, M.S.
Aunyia Ames joins the team as a Case Manager. In this role, she develops, monitors and maintains case assessments and service plans for youth while utilizing her skills and training to counsel youth with behavioral management and solution focused techniques to facilitate personal growth and minimize crisis. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with her Masters in psychology in 2010. After graduation she traveled for several years providing international missionary to families in Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico. Upon returning, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to continue her studies in psychology and provide support for adoption and foster families throughout the state. Today, she continues to work effortlessly to provide consistent supportive services to youth and families in need. We are excited to welcome her to the Street Smart Youth Project team!
Antoinette Parks, B.A.

Antoinette Parks  joins our team as a Prevention Specialist. In this role, she provides critical youth development and facilitation skills throughout SSYP’s school and community based programs. Antoinette is a native of East Orange, New Jersey. She relocated to Atlanta, Georgia to continue her passion for working with under-resourced youth and young adults. Antoinette is a graduate of Delaware State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. She has an extensive background providing support to diverse populations, working with community partners to build rapport, and advocating for community awareness. Her other passions include traveling the world, being with her family and expanding her personal endeavors. She is committed to making a difference in the healthcare industry and strives to expand her knowledge of the field to be on the cutting edge of all advancements in health.



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