Community Champion: Marc Fomby
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Marc Fomby is a Certified Prevention Specialist and the founding CEO of FTC Prevention Services, LLC in Pearl, Mississippi. He is a member of the Recovery School District of New Orleans. Recovery School District is a national initiative committed to breaking the cycle of violence and providing support for youth. In addition, he is a member of the Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition, dedicated to youth life skills and peer education and training. He is an advisor to the executive director of the National CARES Mentoring Movement, Susan Taylor. As conference coordinator of the Mississippi School for Addiction Professionals, he works with the first statewide educational hub for prevention, intervention and treatment specialists in Mississippi. He also serves as coordinator for the annual statewide Juvenile Justice Symposium. Fomby received his Bachelor’s degree in business management from Belhaven University.
Mr. Fomby received his prevention certification via the Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (AADAA) by completion of the exam given by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (ID&RC), the international organization that certifies professionals working in the field of addictions, including prevention. He received his training and certification on the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) curriculum by the Western CAPT in 2001. He has been an Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preventions (OJJDP) National Training & Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) certified consultant since 2007. He is a nationally certified School Resource Officer Practitioner.
Fomby is well known and certified as a Gang Consultant as well as a Juvenile Suicide Awareness Trainer for OJJDP/NTTAC. He has also conducted Cultural Sensitivity Training in numerous states including the Alabama Police Chiefs Conference and the Alabama Office of Attorney General.
Marc Fomby in his own words says, “I think it's extremely important to try to make a connection with young people. But you have to be "real" with them and/or transparent. I usually present manageable tasks as a means to help build confidence or open dialogue whereby I may point out the strong attributes displayed. Young people are often times not reassured with positive affirmation so I make an attempt to be positive. Sometimes I make a big deal about the small things, just to be positive in my communication with them (i.e. Answering a question aloud is overcoming the #1 fear of speaking in public. Sharing an original idea/thought is an example of displaying intelligence and independent thinking. And an extremely vocal person might display initiative, tenacity, and perseverance - all words I then define and explain to help enhance the skills they display in a positive manner).
The communication must be presented whereby they see the value in what you're saying. I try to get youth to look at themselves as part of the solution to what we may be addressing. They're not part of the problem, they have the answers (they are part of the solution) and I try to encourage them to share their thoughts, ideas, plans, solutions and point out how creative and intelligent they are. We then may visit the other side of the coin by pointing out that those who aren't part of the solution are part of the problem by not being proactive (and we use relevant examples they can identify with). Then ask them, "what would work - for them"? The point I try to get them to understand is, "If they want something different, they have to do something different".
“I was assigned to a High School as an SRO when I began a group called the "Ambassadors" to empower youth of the school to change the climate and perception of the school. We implemented Student Lead Court which required the students to be Lawyers, Judge, & Jury to impose punishment to their peers. The students did such a wonderful job we were invited to the State Capital to share our concept of implementing change in the school. During this period I had the opportunity to make a phone call to a college for a young female interested in the ROTC program. The counselor had failed to make contact or provide her with information. Sitting in my office at the school we called the college, got them to send the application, she got questions answered, and was admitted into that college. To this day, she credits me with changing her life (I listened, I made a phone call). She is currently a major in the Air Force and checks in with me periodically to just keep me informed about her life.”
“I pride myself on arming young people with practical application skills and information to help them become productive citizens in society. I make a very conscious attempt to encourage them to utilize the space between their ears (to think). I encourage them to think and assure them I'm not trying to teach them to think like me or tell them how to think, but to encourage them "to think". Young people (and some adults) often feel then react without giving much thought to their actions. If I can convince them to go through the thought process, I believe they're more likely to make informed decisions. My motto is: ‘Changing Lives, Even If It's One at a Time!’ If I can assist one young person to make better decisions, view things differently, or reconsider a previous destructive decision then I'm satisfied as long as they go through the thought process.”
“Children are the future and worth investing in. They are our most valued and precious resource. Without them, there is no future! “