2018 ushered in a wave of change as it typically does in an election year. Here is a summary of the year from the Board of Directors and General Membership. A summary of progress was requested from the National Youth President, Demark Manigo, but was not received by press time.
The year started out with the Inauguration of a new National President. The national president is a member who is elected to work on behalf of the members of NYPS as well and help to improve their quality of life within the movement. The inauguration expanded this year to the NYPS Network, where the oath of office was taken, as well as, the farewell speech of the outgoing president. For this first time, a celebration, funded by NYPS was held in the hometown of the newly elected president. The national president them selected a cabinet that was responsible for the day to day work of the movement for the next 2 years. All cabinet members signed a contract committing to being productive and supportive members supporting the movement and its requirements. A special Inauguration Day edition of RizeUp magazine was created.
The Board of Directors shook things up by selecting new board committee chairs. Youth leaders, not chosen by the national president, were selected by the CEO and served on these committees. These youth leaders are responsible for much of the successes gained in 2018.
RizeUp Magazine produced it’s annual Black History Month Issue, one of it’s most successful editions to date. The national president stopped production of the magazine after this edition for 2018.
The board decided to change the new membership process, moving from a open all year round application period, to a seasonal cohort period. This has turned out to be a spectacular move. The first cohort was the Summer 2018 cohort. 50% of those members are now VIP Members. From the Winter 2018 cohort, 90% of those members have already qualified to be VIP Members.
Probably the most popular decision in our history was made in the spring of 2018: to go
on a self care cruise. With the help of popular online stars Brandon Karson, Gary Lavard and Chris June, the 2018 NYPS Cruise to the Bahamas become the most talked about NYPS activity in it’s 15 year history. Chris June would eventually join our Board of Directors.
The spring of 2018 also saw a boost in fundraising from a unexpected source. “The Vixen”, an alumni of NYPS who also served as a president, who was on the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, selected NYPS to publicly encourage others to support financially by discussing their experience with us as a teen. This helped to raise a few thousand dollars for our movement but also made it easier for our members to participate in our 20/20 fundraiser with all of the exposure.
A paid social media director was hired to handle our vast social media presence, Alonzo Williams. He came to us via the NYPS cruise.
We successfully tested a new membership rank, V.I.P. Membership. We allowed our membership management system, Member Planet, to identify which members keep their commitments and which members commit to a cause/effort and do not follow through.
Members who were identified by the system as keeping their word were made VIP Members and earned Rewards each month for their honesty and commitment. From smart watches, to socks, to candy, to back packs, to a month’s supply of Gatorade, this effort saw an increase of members moving from standard members to VIP Members at a high rate and in turn saw the work of the movement advancing faster than ever. Note: any member of NYPS can become a VIP Member at any time by completing the 2 tasks they agreed to do for the movement when they joined. It’s not an exclusive, hand picked group and there is no extra work.
NYPS International selected it’s first youth leader from Cape Town South Africa. He was added to the cabinet of the national president and is currently its most productive leader, recruiting more members and raising more money than some thought was possible outside of the U.S.
We participated in the Gentlemen’s Foundation Annual Ball for the first time in Atlanta, GA in the fall, Chris (June) Williams, led our efforts at this event.
The youth leaders worked to bring back RizeUp Magazine with the Revolution edition.
NYPS took another big step by deciding on a new position that would work to meet the needs of our VIP Members and handle most of the behind the scenes administrative work that our board committees once work on. This position was referred to as the General Manager (GM) and is a paid position. Several people filled this role on a trial basis and the position will become permanent in 2019.
We opened a Amazon store at Amazon.com/shop/nyps
The NYPS Network held its 3rd Annual Awards Show in November. Rashad Lawrence was named the 2018 Actor of the Year. It was hosted by our own Anthony Walker.
Our board and members made a commitment to make it a December to Remember for people and families in need all across the country by asking people around them to donate items to help them fill one bag of food. Our bi annual food drive this year was managed by our new GM.
Throughout the year we continued our work behind the scenes, providing services to youth, schools, organizations and businesses in need of resources across the globe as well as, continued to publish our popular life development series that help folks move from average to awesome. Our December series #FinishStrong was one of our most popular of the year.
It was announced that the 2019 cruise would be ten times bigger than the 2018 version, hence the name the Epic Cruise. It will take place on one of the world’s largest ships, the Allure of the Seas, provide 7 different room types, compared to just 2 this year, and will last 7 days as opposed to 5. It will go to Cozumel, Haita and headlined by Jamaica.
Also announced for 2019 was the Board Retreat in New Orleans, new inductees to our hall of fame: The Vixen, Andre Roberts and D’Onace Keyes and a brunch series in several cities.