No Options, More Opportunities (NoMo) is an organization in Philadelphia whose mission is to provide a safe space for youth and young adults to develop positive life skills and nurture their potential to break the cycle of poverty. With over 15,700 followers across social media, NoMo is getting the message across about what young people need to thrive.
Monique Curry-Mims is the chief operating officer of NoMo and spoke about the organization’s objectives.
What does the organization offer the community?
We work with justice-impacted youth, youth [who are] living in poverty to give them more options and more opportunities for success. Our program has been around for 26 years and we have three locations. Our North Philadelphia location is our headquarters where we offer trauma-informed care, licensed therapists, financial literacy courses, and career explorations. We also have something called “Stay Safe Saturdays,” where we allow the youth to just be the youth. We know today that sometimes the youth serve as the babysitter, the person in charge, and then they probably don’t feel safe in their own neighborhoods. So we get them out of the cities, off the streets, and allow them to just be kids for a weekend. Our South Philadelphia location is our vocational training center where we have culinary arts certifications, dental assistant certifications, and sterilization processes certifications.
We know it takes a village to have a lot of partnerships and we can’t do this alone, so we bring in experts [who] are able to come in and work with our youth. We’re not just saying, “OK, let’s go teach a class.” We’re actually bringing people in [who] know what they’re doing to give the skills needed to really move people out of poverty.
How can your organization benefit other cities?
Our model is amazing. We’re actually starting an exchange program with the city of Chicago because we know sometimes it’s more than just a pathway, sometimes you need a fresh start. So we’re currently developing a program with Chicago where they’re sending you here and we’re sending you there and really providing that new environment. They’re still able to get housing, and the financial program just like here in Philadelphia.
Where can people find you online?
Our Instagram is @nomo_foundation and our website is www.nomofoundation.org.