• Albert Fluker, Founder of Young Minds Excelling
• Derrick Chase, Founder of Coalition for the Transformation and Betterment of Baltimore
“When you save a male, you save a family”
Albert Fluker and Derrick Chase are both educators in Baltimore City, husbands, fathers, and passionate about their beliefs. Being from different cities and not knowing how much they had in common, they embarked on separate journeys that led to the same path.
In 1991, Al and Derrick met on the campus of Morgan State University. At Morgan State University, they traveled in different circles and indirectly knew each other. They were not instantly friends but respected one another. After graduating, the two continued on their life’s journey and their individual roads to manhood. Several years later, their paths crossed again and a friendship rooted in respect blossomed into a brotherhood. They realized that they shared more commonalities than differences. Both had inconsistent fathers and were predominately raised by women. Both worked at McDonald’s as teenagers. Both understood the complexity of growing up in an urban environment. Both overcame neighborhood challenges, peer pressure and struggles. They also realized they had the same focus, goals, philosophical ideas, approach to manhood, disappointments with the current injustices and disparities that exist, and a passion and commitment to Baltimore city.
Over the years, Al and Derrick routinely contacted each other for assistance, guidance and brotherly advice. They were supportive of each other professionally and personally. As a result, their partnership and collaborative spirit developed, and presently their bond continues to mature. Derrick is the Founder of the Coalition for the Transformation and Betterment of Baltimore and the first President of the International League of Families. Al is a member of both of these organizations. In addition, Al and Derrick are both members and strong supporters of the Standup Baltimore Movement. With years of collaboration, respect and professional commitment under their belts, the two decided on a new collaborative initiative, the Young Minds Excelling Young Men Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy is an introduction to manhood for young males entering pre-adolescence and provides invaluable tools as they transition to manhood. Al and Derrick avidly believe that providing young males with a core foundation of life skills, etiquette, professional techniques, resources, and a sense of respect for self and others are crucial tools that will enable them to be ahead of the game. This unilateral shift is a movement that will impact them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and intellectually. It will also impact their families, communities and society because “when you save a male, you save a family.”