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Fulfilling The Dream – Dr. Garey Ellis
CHILD DEVELOPMENT // STUDENT LEADERSHIP // COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Inner Force is a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing diverse developmental and educational opportunities for urban youth – ‘singular Brooklyn solutions for common community impediments’.
Inner Force is located at the crossroads of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and Brownville in a brand new ‘state-of-the-art’ child development center on 1181 East New York Avenue. Our mission is to improve inner city communities by helping children succeed in school and beyond. Inner Force targets low-income and minority preschool (beginning at 12 weeks), elementary, middle and high school children with childcare/Head Start, after-school, mentoring, summer, and student leadership programs that offer our children educational, developmental, recreational and cultural activities in a safe environment and nurturing environment. We also provide guidance and training for parents to support and monitor their child’s development and in ways to become more involved in, and advocate for, their child’s education and growth.
Inner Force fosters in young people and their parents an understanding of the crucial relationship between education, health, and economics.
Inner Force began in 1996 under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Garey Ellis, a medical physician and his wife Tomora Ellis, an educator. They both also taught in the New York City public school system. Dr. Ellis, who was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, has dedicated his life to making top math and science educational opportunities available to children from that community. As a child, Dr. Ellis decided that he wanted to become a physician, despite the fact that he had never met a black doctor. In between college and medical school, Dr. Ellis came back to his neighborhood to teach high school science. The school in which he taught had limited supplies, teachers of varying ability levels, and a small number of students who made it difficult for the motivated students to learn. Dr. Ellis never forgot those motivated students, and eventually decided that he needed to do something more to help them – Inner Force was born.
Inner Force was founded in 1996 by Dr. Garey V. Ellis and his wife Tomora Ellis, an educator; in response to city wide school closures and overwhelming achievement gaps within New York City’s public schools. Dr. Ellis sought to create a program to support and provide choices for families in urban populations who valued education but lacked the resources to enroll their children in competitive quality educational programs.
After a decade of providing quality supplemental education programs to over 1500 school aged children in the North Brooklyn area, Inner Force responded to a growing need in the community for quality Early Childhood Education. In 2007, Inner Force gave birth to Inner Force Tots and created a program geared to addressing the needs of children; from birth through age five.
I grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. A teacher at my public school noted my interest in academics and encouraged me to believe that I could become whatever I wanted to be.
After many tribulations I achieved my dream. Between undergraduate and medical school, I took time out to give back to the community by teaching high school science. The schools in which I taught had limited supplies, teachers of varying ability levels, and a small number of students who made it difficult for the motivated majority to learn.
I continue to think about those motivated students as I pursued my studies, and eventually decided that I needed to do something more to help them.
In 1996 I founded Inner Force in a effort to provide additional opportunity to students that want to learn. I believe it is the responsibility of our entire community to educate our children.
Inner Force exacts a commitment from teachers, parents and students. It is not enough simply to cultivate dreams in our children; we must provide them with the tools to realize those dreams.
Our children must develop the skills and the self confidence to say “I believe in myself and there is nothing in this world that I cannot do.”