Who We Are

Young men ages 17-24 enter the penitentiary by the thousands calloused and desensitized by the harmful influences that drained them of their human sensitivities. At these tender ages the young men are then thrown inside of a bathroom sized cage with some of the most despicable types of people and forced to live under conditions that produces a sub human culture that will one day be unleashed on our communities with no education, no work skills or work ethic, no social skills, no relationship skills and absolutely no idea how to interact with women and children.

Not all of these young men were raised in environments that threatened their futures. A great number of them were impressed by the rebellious behavior of their peers and joined them in their defiance in spite of those who were caring for them and who made great efforts to protect them from harmful influences.

Our mission is to prepare young males to never step a foot inside a prison. The purpose and the objective for organizing Determined To Be UpRight (DTBUpRight) is to remove the glamorization of prison life by preparing young males ages 12 through 18 (grades 6th – 12th), in the Chicagoland area to have a crystal clear understanding that being led by people who mean them no good and allowing themselves to be recruited by gangs or other harmful activities is not their rite of passage. Determined To Be UpRight is designed to enable our young men to deflect with courage, whatever harmful peer or environmental pressures they may encounter. We expose our young men to healthy experiences to stimulate their thinking and inspire good choices so our young people can witness that the world is diverse, interesting, educational, and actually beautiful. Our program is tailored to add value to the lives of our participants so that they see and comprehend their own potential to be free to grow. author discussion 2

Determined To Be UpRight needs and welcomes the support of conscientious sponsors, businesses, foundations, charitable donations, and individual donations (no matter how small). We are, have been, and will help our community.

Contributions to Determined To Be UpRight are tax deductible.

Thank you for your kind support, help, and your generosity
Omar Yamini, Founder, Executive Director
Board Members and Staff