In January 2016, the Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. will launch their newest program, The Black Suit Initiative. This program is designed to provide middle and high school young men, from under-served communities, the opportunity to engage in  educational, character and career building opportunities to assist in their college and/or career pursuits.

Young men will have the opportunity to speak openly with CEO’s, business owners, police, politicians and community leaders.  This progiving tue 3gram will also offer workshops in English, math, history,  public speaking, culinary arts, drug prevention and wealth building. It is also a requirement for young men to develop and actively engage in community service projects throughout the year.

For the past several months, Greensboro’s headlines have been inundated with heinous crimes committed by young African American males, primarily from the 27405 and 27406 zip code areas. Research has also shown a disproportionate number of young African American males from these areas are unemployed and involved in the criminal justice system, which creates a financial strain on state and local budgets and undermines community stability. Our goal is to help prevent juvenile delinquency, educational disparities and hopelessness in these parts of the city .

Dressing Up The Brain

A new study conducted by a psychology professor at California State University has found that wearing a suit does change thought processes. The study found formal clothing improved confidence levels and changed the basic way respondents perceived the world. The study also revealed wearing a suit encourages people to use abstract processing more readily than concrete processing. The goal of the Black Suit Initiative will allow young men the opportunity to gradually earn a full black suit upon the successful completion of all program modules as well as exhibiting exemplary behavior in their schools and community.

The Black Suit Initiative is an 11 month program open to  young men in grades 6-11 who are currently enrolled in a school in Guilford County. This initial program will only accept 25 young men.  Meetings are normally held on Saturday afternoons and good attendance is a necessity to remain in the program.

To apply, click on the “Apply” tab and complete the preliminary application by 11:59pm on Friday, January 15, 2016. If you are selected to be interviewed for the program, you will be contacted by Sunday, January 17, 2016. 


The Ascena Retail Group, Inc. selected Evainna Ross/The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. as one the winners of the Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards recognizing individuals who help


empower women and children. This new annual awards program honors the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, who co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962.

“Ascena’s philanthropic vision is simple: empowering women and children to be their best,” said David Jaffe, CEO of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. “Across our communities there are amazing stories about individuals working tirelessly toward this goal.”

These ‘everyday heroes’ are making the world a better place for women and/or children in the areas of education, health, social reform, and self-esteem. “We specifically chose individuals whose non-profit organizations may not be well known, but have the potential for major impact with the recognition and financial support that comes with the award,” said Elise Jaffe, Executive Sponsor for Ascena Cares.

The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. received $25,000 in recognition of their work in the community.


The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. held  a 24 hour hunger awareness campaign beginning on November 20 at 6pm at Rankin Elementary School. Youth in the program fasted from food and surrendered their cell phones while collecting nonperishable food items to stock their newly created Crisis Cabinet food pantry at Rankin Elementary School in Greensboro.   FINAL FOOD

Approximately 20  Guilford County Schools middle and high school students consumed a modest meal on Friday evening prior to their 24 hour fast and spent the remainder of the evening participating in cell phone free activities with their peers including relay races, basketball, team building activities and movies.

Prior to the official canned food collection on Saturday morning, the students of Rankin Elementary had collected over 500 items to kick off the campaign drive.  The Sparrow’s Nest youth began their blustery canned food collection at 6am on Saturday morning in front of Rankin Elementary School.  When their grocery store partner, Save A Lot on Yanceyville Street opened at 8am, additional students solicited donations at this location as well.

  The aggressive goal of collecting 5,000 nonperishable items was achieved by 4:30pm. Students continued to collect an additional 500+ items through their original deadline of 6:00pm.

 Based upon the 2014 Hunger in America Studies, North Carolina has one the highest percentages in the United States of children under 18 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis:  in N.C. over 1 in 4. (26.1%). The entire student population of Rankin Elementary receives free lunch based upon the overall poverty level among their families. Food insecurity is a weekly concern for their students and their families and the youth in The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. sought to make a change by creating the Crisis Cabinet back in September.  With the upcoming holiday breaks, the organization decided to host a campaign to collect a substantial amount of food to provide families with nutritious items to sustain their families through January.