8 Spokes of Holistic Urban Youth Transformation

There are 8 Spokes in a wheel that will transform the urban youth lives fighting for a chance to live the life they were created to live.
The Transform St. Louis Initiative brings all eight of these spokes together to provide the necessary resources and compassionate love to the urban teens and their families so desperately needing a break.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Transform St. Louis initiave and the 8 Spokes.
To the right you will see categories that provide those resources, along with website links and contact information for these eight spokes:

1. Emotional/Safety Programs
2. Education
3. Family Support Programs
4. Spiritual Development 
5. Leadership Programs
6. Social Interaction Programs 
7. Community Development.
8. Career Development

The Urban K-Life organization has been creating lasting relationships with urban teens in four of the most dangerous high schools in America. With a 92% graduation rate, combining all the spokes of the strategic organizations, St. Louis is paving the road for transforming urban youth in America.


In the pursuit to trasnform urban American communities, there are wonderful programs across the country that have made great strides and provided great models for several of the critical eight spokes. Below are some of those organizations:

Youth Guidance in Chicago, Illinois.  Youth Guidance serves more than 13,000 students in Chicago’s schools. More than 95% of their students are African-American and Hispanic/Latino. Most reside in low income communities.  Programs such as the Become a Man (BAM) program helps young men navigate difficult circumstances that threaten their future in urban Chicago. 

The Center for Self Enhancement in Portland, Oregon.  "The key to turning around our educational system lies in one simple word, 'resilience.' Kids need a holistic approach. As adults, we can't hope to remove all the negative influences a child faces on a daily basis, but we can focus on building protective factors within our youth. We can give children the opportunity to develop personal skills, confidence, and self-worth - important traits of a highly resilient person - to help them succeed academically and in life, despite their circumstances."  Programs such as the Parent Involvement program provides case management, support and networking to address potential barriers to maintaining a health family environment and a positive home-school relationship. 

For over twenty years, BronxConnect  in New York has based its youth intervention model on the belief that young people have inherent value and are worthy of relentless love and support. We refuse to give up on young people and their ability to change their life outcomes. We infuse everything we do with the idea that positive, loving relationships are crucial to the self-improvement and personal development of youth.

BuildOn empowers U.S. urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service in Detroit, Boston, Oakland, Chicago, The Bronx and Bridgeport, CT. "Our impact isn’t what we do for our students. It’s what our students do for their communities, our world, and themselves. Our Service Learning Programs empower youth from America’s toughest neighborhoods to explore the challenges facing their communities and take action to address these issues through service – helping the homeless, seniors and children in their communities."


The number one issue in America does not make the headline news. Solving the roadblocks, barriers and obstacles that prevent the youth of urban America to thrive is the number one problem that expands into eight categories, that we call "Spokes." These spokes can each be solved with a direct and collaborative effort of the great organizations in St. Louis that focus on each spoke.

However, there needs to be a coordinated effort connecting all stakeholders of St. Louis together in an effort to form a unified vision for what we want St. Louis to look like in the near future. Transform St. Louis is that coordinated effort.

Government leaders, community organizations, private citizens, law enforcement and all businesses and organizations need to come together to create a unified vision and then follow it in an effort to show this country an example of what it looks like for a community to come together and transform adversity to prosperity.

We can rebuild our trust and come together for the interest of the children of tomorrow and Transform St. Louis and the We the People Have a Dream initiative (see below) are how this will be accomplished.

Urban EntrepreneursCustom Paint Works

St. Louis' Premier Cabinet Refinishing Company.

Urban Entrepreneurs provides guidance and leadership to allow talented urban St. Louis tradesmen to launch and build their businesses. Custom Paint Works has developed several urban teens from novice to master tradesman in refinishing cabinets and furniture in the St. Louis region and now around the country.

Other Urban Entrepreneur businesses are in the works to provide career opportunities and alternatives to urban teens as they develop their skills .

We the People Have a Dream

Christopher Riley, founder of the Giving Legacy organization, launched the "We The People Have a Dream" initiative that focuses on bringing a community together and giving our Children of Tomorrow a community they will be proud of. Click Here to watch how Urban K-Life and We the People Have a Dream are affecting urban communities.

What kind of America do we want to leave for our Children of Tomorrow? If it is an America that needs change, then we the people need to come together and make those changes happen for the sake of our Children of Tomorrow.

The We the People Have a Dream initiative is focused on we the children of our tomorrow and creating a country that allows them their shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How do we accomplish this in light of the difficult barriers and division this country is facing today?

Below are the key philosophies of Martin Luther King, Jr. that provide the road map for how we can provide the necessary solutions to rebuild our country, one community at a time.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

"Rarely do we find men and women who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”

Light & Love:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love"

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now"

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

Take a Stand:
"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase”

The We the People Have a Dream initiative is about leaving a country to our children where they will be judged by the content of their character and understand that nonviolence means not only refusing to shoot a man, but also refusing to hate him.