To increase opportunities for success by providing programs, services and events to under-served youth and their families through experiences that Entertain, Educate and Empower.
In 2006 Al-Tariq and his four boys were driving down Bergen Street. in Newark. While at a traffic light they witness a young man being brutally attacked by another. During the assault the attacker pulled out a gun. Al-Tariq sped off and flagged down the nearest police officer. After reporting the incident he turned to his sons and vehemently warned them against the dangers of the streets, using the attack as an example. After listening to his father’s emotional plea, his eldest son and namesake simple said, “What are you doing about it Dad?” It was then that the seed of FP YOUTHOUTCRY was planted.
During that summer of 2006 Al-Tariq immediately started ‘doing’ something about the ills of his city. With his own money and the help of family, friends and community volunteers He began hosting a traveling youth summit, later named My Thoughts Out Loud.
M.T.O.L. provides an open platform for participants to vocalize their thoughts, concerns and fears, about their life and community. The M.T.O.L.s take place wherever the youth are, in community centers, schools and even local hang outs. He also started organizing what were deemed ‘impossible’ trips out of the city with kids from less than compatible housing sites.
In 2006 he partnered with Newark Now, a nonprofit that Mayor Cory Booker founded and took part in their Community Partners Program. Newark Now was the first to grant FP YOUTHOUTCRY with funds to furnish Al-Tariq’s dream to produce the M.T.O.L.s. And in 2009 with their support, FP attained its 501c3 status.
In 2009 Al-Tariq also partnered with the Newark Housing Authority, the largest housing agency in New Jersey. He brought his love of music and NHA provided the location and funding for a program called Rhymes 4 Reasons. R4R is a music education program that is an alternative afterschool program. Participants learn about music business and audio engineering. Classes are taught at three different levels in a state-of-the-art studio. At the end of each program cycle the graduating participants release a CD of their work.
Al-Tariq also brought the Families Involved in Structured Training Program to Newark Housing Authority. The F.I.S.T program is designed to strengthen the family by providing free weekly seminars at Newark Housing Authority sites. Areas of focus include: financial literacy, education, grooming /self-confidence and job readiness. Community resources are also brought to each workshop for the convenience of the participants.
In a relatively short period of time Mr. Best has taken the concern for his children and multiplied it to encompass a whole city. The sky is truly the limit for FP. There is a culinary arts program that promotes sustainability and community service on the horizon. The organization is expanding, through its nationwide Day of Healing Tour, that’s dedicated to those who have suffered loss due to violence in their communities.
The mission of FP YOUTHOUTCRY is to provide alternative positive programming for youth and families in underserved communities by way of entertainment, education and empowerment. The mission permeates all that this young organization has accomplished and hopes to accomplish.
In 2009 Mr. Best was honored with The Spirit of Newark Community Partner Award presented by Mayor Cory Booker and the Odyssey International Award for excellence in community service.
In the future Mr. Best has dreams of opening the We Heard Your Cry Academy, where all of FP’s programs can be centrally housed.