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Nia Means ‘Purpose’: Tonya Lewis

The core concept and practice of the value purpose is service: service to others, family, school, community, and the nation.
I Will Graduate

The fifth day of Kwanzaa, celebrated on Friday, December 30, recognizes Nia or “purpose,” which focuses on building and developing our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

On this day, each family or community member should examine his/her ability to put his/her skill or talent to use In the service of the family and community at large. Take time to reflect on your expectations from life: discuss your desires and hopes with family and friends. On this day you should try to determine if this purpose will eventually result in positive achievements for family and community.

The Nia principle asks each person to be services or mission-driven on the behalf of their family, school, and community. The core concept and practice of the value purpose is service. Service to others, family, school, community, and the nation is what defines who we are and our possibilities for developing communities that provide the context for families and children to thrive and flourish. 

Nia: “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”

Tonya Lewis, the founder of I Will Graduate program, is a great example of purpose. I Will Graduate is a 501(c)(3) charity organization dedicated to serving and empowering students, families, and the community by communicating the importance of educational excellence.

Through youth development programs, arts-in-education, college and career guidance, mentoring, parent engagement, school and community workshops, exciting events, and the use of multimedia platforms, the program has "gladiators of education" and local leaders partnered with educators, hip hop talent, and others to combat gun violence, low graduation and to raise college attendance rates.

Working together to build the youth is a great example of Nia.

Take a look at this story on BK Reader on I Will Graduate's 14th Annual Youth Empowerment Rally and who performed and spoke to support and inspire students from more than 179 schools.

Today, let's all find ways to make choices with purpose!

Beginning on Monday, Dec. 26, and for the seven days of Kwanzaa, BK Reader will feature a different local resident or organization that exemplifies one of the seven principles!


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