Keishamata StrongPassion Outreach Center Madison, IL Award Year: 2023
Keishamata Strong is Founder and President of Passion Outreach Center, a nonprofit dedicated to putting a support system in neighborhoods to enrich the lives of underprivileged community members. She and her husband have donated 10 percent of their income to fund the organization, which has served over 100 children. During the pandemic, Strong started an online after-school program to assist children with navigating remote learning. She was able to provide 16 students with Chromebooks and gift cards for food during the program, which helped students improve their grades. To date, Strong has supported over 50 families by raising funds to provide back-to-school supplies, clothes, and essential items for the school year. Strong formed partnerships with six local organizations, including Metro East Diaper Bank, Pajama Program, and Toys for Tots. Passion Outreach Center is partnering with Teens Against Killing Everywhere (TAKE), a nonprofit that works to build a stronger, safer, healthier East St. Louis. Strong’s goals for Passion Outreach include building a community center that will provide educational programs, recreational activities, academic support, and hope for a brighter future.