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Empowering Change – The REDF Accelerator Retreat In Minneapolis

Written by: Leon El-Alamin, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Leon El-Alamin

The MADE institute director participates in gathering with leaders from across the country.

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The MADE Institute provides services to individuals returning to Flint, Michigan following incarceration. Flint is the birthplace of General Motors and was the location of the water crisis in 2016 which has dramatically impacted the people who live here.

MADE provides job training, transitional housing, and access to health programs along with a myriad of other support services to returning citizens. Since 2016, our programs have provided training and services to 1,000 individuals.

Last month, The MADE Institute's director, Leon El-Alamin, had the incredible opportunity to be part of the prestigious REDF Accelerator Community Retreat in Minneapolis. This exclusive event brought together exceptional leaders from across the country, all of whom have been engaged with the REDF Accelerator since its launch in 2016. It was a moment of pride for The MADE Institute as Leon had graduated from the program in November 2022, and his participation in the retreat showcased the remarkable impact of this cutting-edge initiative.

The REDF Accelerator program is a pioneering effort that aims to drive social innovation and foster lasting positive change in underserved communities. Geared towards supporting and scaling social enterprises, the program offers a unique blend of mentorship, funding, and resources to ventures with a strong social mission. At its core, the program is committed to empowering individuals facing barriers to employment, such as those with histories of homelessness, incarceration, or substance abuse, by equipping them with the necessary skills and opportunities to thrive in the workforce.

Central to the program's success is a rigorous selection process that identifies promising ventures with scalable and sustainable models capable of driving meaningful impact. By cultivating collaboration and an ecosystem of like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors, the REDF Accelerator stands at the forefront of driving meaningful change and building a more inclusive and equitable society.

The REDF Accelerator Community Retreat provided Leon with a unique platform to connect, collaborate, and learn from fellow change-makers who share the same dedication to addressing social challenges and creating sustainable solutions. During the retreat, he had the privilege of participating in engaging workshops, thought-provoking discussions, and inspiring presentations that further enriched his understanding of innovative approaches to social entrepreneurship.

The MADE Institute extends its heartfelt gratitude to the REDF Accelerator for organizing this remarkable retreat and for extending the invitation to Leon. Their commitment to empowering social entrepreneurs like The MADE Institute is truly commendable, and this experience has further strengthened the institute's resolve to drive positive change in the Flint community.

As we reflect on Leon's journey from being a participant in the REDF Accelerator program to becoming a part of this prestigious retreat, we celebrate the transformative power of such initiatives. The MADE Institute continues to be a shining example of how social enterprises can create lasting impact by empowering individuals with the skills and support they need to break down barriers and thrive in the workforce.

Looking ahead, The MADE Institute remains steadfast in its mission to uplift the lives of those facing adversity, and this retreat has provided invaluable insights and connections that will undoubtedly contribute to their ongoing success. With the unwavering support of programs like the REDF Accelerator, The MADE Institute is driven to push the boundaries of social innovation, leaving an indelible mark on the community and fostering a brighter future for all.

In conclusion, the REDF Accelerator Retreat has not only been a momentous occasion for The MADE Institute but also a testament to the incredible impact of programs that prioritize social empowerment. Leon's participation in this retreat reinforces the institute's commitment to creating lasting positive change in Flint, Michigan, and beyond.

For more information about the REDF Accelerator, you can visit here. To learn more about The MADE Institute and their programs you can visit here.

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Leon El-Alamin Brainz Magazine

Leon El-Alamin, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Leon El-Alamin is the founder and Executive Director of the M.A.D.E. Institute, that stands for Money, Attitude, Direction and Education. Growing up on the North Side of Flint, Leon was a good kid who took refuge at his grandmother’s house to escape the challenges he faced at home and out on the streets. After graduating from high school, the allure of earning fast money made Leon start selling cocaine. A few years later, a shootout over a drug turf war landed him in the hospital where he spent a month in a coma. The incident led to his eventual arrest and imprisonment on drug and weapons charges. At the age of 30, Leon was released from prison after serving part of his sentence then founded MADE.



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