Tyrique Warren, Junior at Georgia Gwinnett College
Hey, my name is Tyrique Warren and I am from Conyers, GA. When I was younger, I was and still am a part of Beyond The Bell since I was in diapers. Beyond The Bell is another home for me where I can go and feel safe, learn, play, and overall have fun. I have met so many different people through Beyond The Bell that I am still friends with today. Beyond The Bell has taught me a lot from saying no to drugs, saying yes to school, and becoming the man that I am today. It is an honor being a part of Beyond The Bell, I just wish the kids growing up now could have gotten the same experience I did.
Kori Shackleford, Junior at Savannah State University
I have been a part of the Beyond The Bell family since I was in the 3rd grade, and now I am a Junior in College. Prior to attending Beyond The Bell, I hated school especially spelling words. Once I became a part of the “family” school got better for me and so did spelling. Thanks to Ms. Dean, the Executive Director of Beyond The Bell who would not allow me to do anything until I spelled all my words correctly. Being a part of Beyond The Bell I met so many amazing friends, and we are still friends today and we have become family. I am so grateful for having met them. Beyond The Bell has been such a major part of my life to the point where I want to follow in Ms. Dean’s footsteps and have my own business. I have already thought of a partial name for my business in honor of Beyond The Bell. Yes, the first part of the name will be Beyond The ___________. Thanks to Ms. Dean and Ms. Taylor and the whole Beyond The Bell family, another little girl can and will make a difference in the world.
Cameron Callaway, Sophomore at Albany State
Beyond The Bell means a lot to me. When I was eight (8) years old I left home walking by myself one morning to get to Beyond The Bell because my Mom was taking to long to get off work and drive me. I had to get to Beyond The Bell, it was summer camp and I loved it. The DeKalb police and everyone was out looking for me and all I wanted to do was get to Beyond The Bell. Beyond The Bell also made sure that I was on the right track for school and in life. Beyond The Bell is the reason I am who I am today.
Javon Lawton, Sophomore at University of West Georgia
Beyond The Bell will always have a special place in my heart. Beyond The Bell allowed me to be the first three (3) year old member although this was against regulations. Beyond The Bell has taught me about love, honesty, and respect and has helped me build lifelong friendships.
Jailan Lawton, Senior at University of Georgia
Beyond The Bell is like a second home to me. It has taught me many life lessons and has prepared me for the real world. Beyond The Bell also taught me right from wrong and always made sure I had ambition and goals. Beyond The Bell will always be a part of my life.
Angel Paul, Senior at Georgia Southern University
I’ve literally grown up in Beyond The Bell. I started out in Kindergarten, and now I’m less than a year from graduating college. I’ve learned so much and have had so many opportunities solely from being a part of the organization. For example, I’ve been on trips to see the National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee, met Government officials in Washington, DC, got to tour historic New Orleans, visited the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, picketed the local police department and so much more. The first job I’ve ever gotten was through Beyond The Bell assisting with a Parenting Program and I would later go on to work for the Founder and CEO Mrs. Sandra Dean when she transitioned from summer camp to Nonprofit work.
I would say that having someone who looks like you, who understands your struggle of growing up with nothing, who believes in you no matter your history or background is very important. The people working with Beyond The Bell definitely encourages growth and development of all. We were taught to never accept anything less than what we deserve, and to never allow where we’ve come from to determine our worth. I firmly believe that my motivation, my ambition, my drive and my love for activism is all because I am a product of Beyond The Bell. Beyond The Bell is so much more.
Beyond the Bell effectively provides prevention programs, interventions and/or resources when appropriate to reduce substance use in youth.