The 411 Brand Appreciation Awards

by Rafeal Crawford
The 411 Brand Appreciation Awards

411 Brand Founder hosts Appreciation Awards and discusses the organization at the Nike Store in Atlanta

Since 1992, the 411 Brand has provided youth development programming in the areas of education, entertainment and athletics to over 20,000 young people across the country.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the 411 Brand Foundation’s mission is to create a platform designed to bridge the gap between successful individuals and young people striving for success. Since the top of the year, the 411 Brand has implemented over 10 programs in Atlanta and Los Angeles, serving over 200 students per week.
Programs include several athletic academies across Atlanta in the areas of basketball, soccer, lacrosse and dance. Each program is designed to teach the fundamentals of each sport along with a leadership component to assist students off the court/field as well.
 In a partnership with the City of Atlanta Parks & Recreation Department, 411 Brand provides weekly programming to underserved youth at several City of Hope locations in Atlanta.
 In a partnership with My After School Programs, 411 Brand currently offers five (5) weekly programs at Morningside Elementary in Midtown Atlanta and Warren T. Jackson Elementary in the Buckhead section of Atlanta serving close to 100 students a week.
The 411 Brand also offers a Music & Film Academy at Patchwerk Studios during the summer to students that have a passion for learning the entertainment industry. Each week, John Thomas, the program founder, will invite industry heavyweights to come in to share their journey with the students. Along with weekly mentors, this opportunity gives students an incredible insight into the business from individuals that help shape the current landscape of both industries.
Mr. Thomas acknowledged that without the support of so many individuals over the years, he’s not sure if the organization would still be around after 25 years. “Along with consistency and hard work, we have relied heavily on the relationships we have established in Atlanta over the years”. “We found out that so many successful individuals would love an opportunity to share their story with eager students willing to learn.” he said. “As an organization, our job is to offer safe learning platforms that allow the GREAT conversations between successful individuals and young people striving for success.”
 Recently, the 411 Brand Foundation hosted a private invitation only event entitled the 411 Brand Appreciation Awards, at the Nike Store in Lenox. The purpose of this event was to honor five (5) individuals for their generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to support the 411 Brand Programs.
The 411 Brand Appreciation Awards
Honorees included V103 Radio Personality Big Tigger, Hip Hop Professional and former Music Executive Shanti Das, WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces Tamera Young, City of Atlanta Film & Entertainment Director Chris Hicks and Culture Republic & DTP Co-Founder Chaka Zulu.


“I’ve known most of these guys for over 20+ years and they have always been there for the organization” Thomas said. “I’ve always let them know how appreciative I am for their support in private conversation but never publicly. This event was long overdue”.

 Upon receiving their award, each honoree shared their thoughts on the impact of 411 Brand Programs and pledged to continue to support the organization in its quest to provide programs throughout the world!
Another exciting moment that took place that evening was when five (5) students that are currently enrolled in the 411 Music Academy, performed an original song in which they wrote and arranged the entire song. The song was produced by another 411 Music Academy student King Kobra. These young ladies were amazing. They also shared how the program has impacted their lives and provided them opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise. “We didn’t write music nor did we know much about the music industry before being invited to participate in this program” says current student Mimi Mako. “It has really helped us with our confidence to continue to grow in the industry.”
John Thomas also announced the organization’s new initiative beginning this Fall called The 411 Brand Saturday School Program. This program will provide students with a weekly stipend to attend a 10 week Saturday program from 10-1p, designed to teach the fundamentals of the Music & Film industry.

 Students will also be mentored by industry veterans each week as well as create their own five (5) song EP at the end of the program. “In an effort to keep students engaged during non school hours, we felt by creating this program, we could give young people an opportunity to begin to perfect their craft earlier in life” says Thomas. “Instead of waiting until college to figure what you would/would not like to do, this program could jumpstart the process at a young age.”
If your interested in supporting this initiative take a look at the information below. The 411 Brand Foundation is a 501c3 Non Profit organization, and your contribution will be tax-deductible.
In order to support one or more of our program levels, click the link below:
For more information about the 411 Brand Foundation, you can visit the the website at You can also follow @the411brand on all social media platforms.
Photo Credits: 
Reginald Duncan

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