Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Program Founder Tulley Brown Aims to Break the Frustration Syndrome

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Program Founder Tulley Brown Aims to Break the Frustration Syndrome

Article excerpt

TULLEY BROWN calls for a "bold vision" to uplift the youths of America. Mr. Brown is national director of Direction Sports, a nonprofit group geared to serve disadvantaged urban youths. The principles of its peer-run program have been adopted by several other programs across the country. (See accompanying article.)

"We need to have programs that provide a support to our educational system. We need to enhance kids' self-concept," Brown said in a Monitor interview.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley hails the 25-year-old program as a tool to convince youths that there are "alternatives to gangs and drugs." During a press conference this summer, Mayor Bradley stated that "Direction Sports should be expanded nationwide."

"Tulley Brown brings hope to communities, hope to young people," says the Rev. Samuel Williams, president of New Directions in Chicago, a spinoff of Direction Sports. "He has an idea that young people, if given a chance to learn and to participate, make a better world. I think he's right."

Mr. Williams has seen Brown at work in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta: "Everywhere he goes," he says, "he takes his idealism with him."

Brown speaks with conviction. From time to time during an interview he raises his voice to stress a point, sounding like a cross between a public defender and a basketball coach.

His "bold vision" has two parts: to design programs that support the educational system, and to enhance kids' self-esteem - ideally, with the involvement of the family.

Brown lends historical perspective on education: "When school systems evolved in America from one-room schoolhouses of the 19th century and before, they presupposed if not a supportive environment at least one that was neutral. But an American kid today grows up where there are constant derogatory or detracting `vibes,' experiences that take away from the ideals that are manifested through the school system. …

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