Yuniverse Foundation is Reston’s newest youth empowerment social entrepreneurship spreading positivity and inspiration throughout the community. Yuniverse Foundation’s mission is to use creativity and connection to help youth develop their talents through music, camps, events and projects. The goal is to send every kid home more comfortable in their own skin.
Yuniverse Foundation was founded by the dream team of three South Lakes High School students: Joseph Dagbe, David Gonzalez and Brian Adams. Joseph, also known as “ShowJoe,” believes that he can turn his personal local recognition to help pursue his goals and give back to the Reston community that has helped him grow into the young man that he is today. David Gonzalez, Yuniverse’s Chief Creative Officer, has over 25,000 instagram followers and uses his online reach to inspire and help youth realize their creative potential. He is also known by his stage name, “UnoDavid.” Brian Adams rounds out the leadership team with outstanding business acumen, leadership, organization, and entrepreneurship skills. He is an excellent consensus builder and is passionate about bringing people together especially in the muslim community.
Summer of 2018, Joseph watched his two younger brothers participate in the “Superhero Splash and Dash” event sponsored by CORE Foundation and was energized to create events similar programs to motivate kids. He approached Terry Redican, a 2018 Best of Reston Winner, also known as Coach “T” to many in our community, to serve as the team’s mentor. CORE Foundation, a 501(c)3, was proud to fiscally sponsor the team’s well-presented business plan for social good providing business tools and the administrative backbone and additional mentoring to support the entrepreneurship.
Yuniverse hit a homerun with their kick-off event, “Endless Energy,” which brought together 300 middle and high schoolers for a basketball tournament and amateur music concert. The event which was held at the nZone on May 11th featured twenty four top 7th-9th grade basketball players in the area who participated in 1:1 tournament and ten teen amateur musical artists including ShowJoe and UnoDavid. $2000 in donations from generous supporters and local businesses were raised to cover event costs. Proceeds will send some local kids in need to basketball camp this summer. Many of the teens who participated in “Endless Energy” are in the free and reduced lunch program, and Joseph Dagbe says that “Yuniverse Foundation offers kids hope and gives them something to look forward to.”
For their efforts the Yuniverse team has qualified to earn the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award for achieving over 1200 hours collectively of community service. Even more impressive, they accomplished this while juggling basketball practice, school and many other activities in the after school hours. The Yuniverse team has also been nominated for the “2019 Creating a World of Their Own Inspired Youth Award” and fulfilled a major role in producing “Reston Live” held at Lake Anne Plaza on Memorial Day weekend.
The best is yet to come with this group of social entrepreneurs! The group’s dream is to revitalize the outdoor basketball at the South Gate Community Center that will serve to keep kids out of trouble and give them the opportunity to be productive. By doing this, Yuniverse will also facilitate a location to host basketball clinics, entrepreneur workshops, and digital music courses. Yuniverse has “Fun Day” type events in the works which will take place in low income neighborhoods such as the Island Walk and Cedar Ridge Communities of Reston. These events will feature food, fellowship, fun, and positivity for the youth in our community. We are confident that our next gen leaders will make the future of Reston and beyond very bright.
You can learn more about Yuniverse Foundation at www.yuniversefoundation.org
Yuniverse Foundation is a fiscally sponsored CORE Cause of CORE Foundation Inc, a 501(c)3, EIN #20-5997764, registered to solicit donations in the state of Virginia. Donations are tax deductible. DONATE to Yuniverse here.