Earl Skinner has been a central part of THE POINT’s Youth Development Program since he began there in 2002 as an Assistant Literacy Teacher. Immersing himself in his role, he learned instructional and curriculum development techniques and quickly exhibited an exceptional ability to work within a team and a profound commitment to the progress of youth and the community. Earl was promoted to Youth Programs Coordinator in 2005 and was a member of the PASE-Baruch College Emerging Leaders class of 2007. He has proven himself adept at establishing new projects, transforming old ones, and above all creating a fun, safe, creative, and educational environment for young people in the Hunt’s Point community.
Earl has been instrumental in bringing to life the creativity and passion that can sometimes be hidden in youth. Through sheer determination, Earl has brought Beats, Rhymes, and Life—a program that strives to address the psychosocial needs of youth of color through strength, culture, and empowerment—back to the home of hip hop in the South Bronx. He has also designed and instructed his own literacy programs on rap, health and the community, the African Diaspora, and superheroes and the comic strip, among others. Earl also helped organize the first ever traveling exhibition of student work in partnership with the International Center of Photography. And if programs like these had not yet helped youth find their creative passion, Earl devised a full-day event called a Passion Fair which paired teen mentors with younger participants based on shared creative interests.
All of these programs have helped to cultivate an appreciation for art and culture in a variety of forms, allowing the youth at Earl’s program not simply to experience art, but to explore its many avenues and find one that speaks to them. Earl is a positive African-American adult role model who inspires each of his youth to chase their dreams, discover their passions, and strive to succeed in whatever their life’s calling. In the words of THE POINT’s President and its Executive Director, it is “Earl’s loving approach and ability to connect with people [that] makes our mission achievable.”