It began with 100 + students, shuttled 10 miles from Tulsa’s North side on a summer day. With temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees, it was hot, it was humid and the dense air weighed upon their shoulders like a blanket soaked in brine. And yet, compared to the nightmare of substance abuse, child homelessness and gang violence that had become their world, the heat was a comfort to them. These students were at-risk, and in danger of losing themselves; becoming prisoners of their environment. The benefit event that they had the chance to attend may have been their only moments of relief, or of rescue. On May 1st, 2008, the students came expecting fellowship and fun with friends, but they left with so much more. What they expected to be a night filled with fellowship and friends, became so much more.
The 2008 Amped benefit event changed the way that Coach Joshua Eze sought to improve the lives of at-risk youths and adults in his community. He witnessed countless youths re-dedicating their lives to education, instead of drug abuse. He witnessed youth re-dedicating their lives to social injustice instead of gang violence and in 2009 he decided to go forth and fulfill the call that was on his life to build people, to build relationships and to build communities.
Coach Josh, the founder of UNPLUGGED debuted his first book titled UNPLUGGED in 2009. The motivational piece discusses the top struggles that keep people plugged into negative influences and provides insight for ways to UNPLUG from them. It was during this time that Coach Josh also launched UNPLUGGED’s YouTube channel with over 400 life coaching videos ranging in topics from Overcoming Substance Abuse, Coping with Insecurity, and cultivating healthy relationships. These videos enabled UNPLUGGED to reach an international audience. Subscribers were diverse in age, gender, racial/ethnic background and socio economic status. On October 30, 2010, Coach Josh launched UNPLUGGED locally in the city of Charlotte.
Since 2010, UNPLUGGED has hosted over 250 coaching events, produced over 400 YouTube videos watched in over 100 countries, provided solutions to over 250 unanswered questions, mentored 6 young men from Walter G Byers and hosted five benefit concerts; 2 in Tulsa OK, 2 in the heart of Charlotte and one on the Campus of UNC Charlotte.
The Next 7 Years
Our mission is to see middle school and high school students connect to their purpose. We believe that the best way to help students stay out of trouble and finish school is to help them discover their purpose and to help them develop the skills and disciplines (both emotionally and mentally) needed to help them accomplish their goals. On November 12th we will be sharing our heart and our plans to see this become a reality.
We are looking to partner with local business, schools, organizations, teachers, young professionals etc for this event and for other follow up events if you are interested in being a part of this event feel free to contact us HERE
A special THANK YOU to everyone who came out for last week's UNPLUGGED Benefit Concert in support of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. Also, thank you to all of the amazing artists and volunteers who made the night such a special event enjoyed by all. The event was a huge success. We were able to donate lots of school supplies and begin raising money for the Propel Mentoring Program. We are so excited for what God has in store for the Propel Mentoring Program as it reaches students in our neighborhoods. Below are photos and videos from the night.
Become A part of the solution
How You Can Help | The 3 areas of need:
- Project 658 and Christ Central Church has opened their doors to host our online/individual courses. We are looking for financial support to cover our main facility to ensure that UNPLUGGED has a stable foundation to grow and develop a diverse community. Project 658 is located on Central Ave. in what’s considered the most densely populated area between North and South Carolina. There are over 20 different nationalities living within one square mile of this community. Establishing roots in this community will give us the pleasure and opportunity to reach a thriving and diverse community by helping them sharpen their relationship with God and draw closer to achieving their life’s purpose. We are looking for 51 People, businesses or organizations to donate $500 or more to help us cover our facility expenses. This will help us to ensure that all three life-coaching courses are covered for both 2015 and 2016.
- When it comes to reaching lives, and making an impact, every dollar counts.. From operating costs, to course maintenance fees, there are certain mechanics needed to ensure that UNPLUGGED runs efficiently. We are looking for 150-300 individuals to commit to giving $25 or more a month to help us cover curriculum development, security detail, benefit events, and legal and marketing needs etc. Your support will ensure that UNPLUGGED is fueled and equipped with everything needed to grow and to impact the communities both here and abroad.
- UNPLUGGED has a huge vision. Within this vision are plans to build community/ creative arts centers, to have a fleet of sidewalk community trucks and more but our immediate future needs focuses on UNPLUGGED’s heart for the next generation. We have set our sights on building the world's premier youth mentoring program which would incorporate both technological and traditional mentoring. We are planning to launch our Propel Youth Mentoring program in the Fall or Spring of 2016 which will include an online course, a personal development app and personality test. Additionally, we will incorporate a system for young professionals and adults to regularly UNPLUG time, to spend time with students. Our program will help to draw middle school and high school students to their purpose, and motivate them to succeed inside class and outside of class. In order for our vision to become a reality, we would need 20 + people to donate $5K or more to help us cover the cost of offering the course development processes. We want to provide CMS (Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools) and other school systems with the tools they need to keep students engaged and motivated to graduate.