Our future is only as strong as the young people we have invested in as a community. Miafere “Mia” Jones is a young woman doing just that in Baltimore City, not just investing in our youth, but also offering herself as a resource to those in need of guidance. The 24 year-old bright, beautiful, and multi-talented Jones is currently the program director for Baltimore Youth Empowerment through conflict resolution for the American Friends Service Committee. However, Mia’s work with the youth doesn’t stop there; she is also an Astemari (teacher) with HABESHA (Helping Africa by Establishing Schools at Home and Abroad), and founder of Cre3sol an organization designed to be a platform for emerging artists to learn the entrepreneurial side of the arts industry.

In August of 2011, HABESHA and Mia traveled with a group of Baltimore’s youth to Ghana, as a part of the Black to Our Roots Program. This ongoing year round program offered education on subjects ranging from African history to entrepreneurship. Inspiring in its own right HABESHA is only a volunteer project for Jones. In coming weeks American Friends Service Committee’s Friend of A Friend Program has partnered with Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and is opening the Eddie Conway Freedom School. The mission of this school will be to work with middle/high school aged students educating about personal, social, cultural and political issues that can and do affect their communities.

“I see myself as a small drop in the rain water. We all are; it’s all about everyone doing their part” Jones said of herself and her work. While Ms. Jones may be too humble to say so, we find her work to be not only vital to the growth and sustainability of our community, but her level of commitment to the youth especially is note worthy. HABESHA will be holding two fundraisers on Jan. 26, from 5pm-9pm at both Terra Café and The Land of Kush restaurants in Baltimore City. These funds will go toward sending this year’s Black to Our Roots Program students to Ghana.

All of Mia’s work is about educating and empowering the next generation of leaders to come, something that truly gives one hope for the future of Baltimore City.