Young people can make a mark in life, if they only believe in themselves. Michael Tidmore has proven that the sky is the limit to what one can do for their community and society at large. Making a difference and changing the world is what this Chicago resident has done. Recently in January 2016, St. Bernard Hospital celebrated the 87th birthday of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event honored the great leader’s life and his civil rights legacy. However, at the celebration, Michael Tidmore was also honored. Why? A prestigious award was given to this young man for the restorative justice advocacy work he has been doing in his Chicago community of Englewood. Tidmore has exemplified to the youths at risk in the community that they, too, can turn their lives into something positive.
Imprisoned for a Crime
Michael Tidmore was imprisoned for almost ten years for having a role in a murder and armed robbery. The crime took place when he was only 18 years of age, between 1979 and 1989. While Tidmore was in prison, he took it upon himself to become a peer counselor to other prison inmates. Upon his release, he still continued to work to alleviate violence, and instead, providing young people access to positive opportunities. He went a step further to become certified as a mediator in the community so that he could assist with the de-escalation of troubling community issues. He received his certification in the year 2000 from the United States Department of Justice.
Tidmore is an employee at Teamwork Englewood as a youth program coordinator. The program director has attested to the fact that Tidmore is an exemplary employee, doing outstanding work for the community youths. He has mentored thousands of youths in his seven year tenor at the Teamwork Englewood community program. He has taught the youths how to effectively avoid violence and choose a positive path. He has led peace circles, helping the youths to effectively develop strategies for conflict management and better communication skills. He has taught them to avoid any temptations for bullying.
Since Tidmore left prison, he has chosen to take a positive path of being a mentor and role model to so many community youth. He has been the main coordinator for the African American Male Initiative at Teamwork Englewood. Unfortunately, due to inadequate funding, this program was discontinued. However, during the program, Tidmore mentored youths with the potential to drop out of school or get involved in gang activity. Most of these youths were between the age of 10 and 18. Tidmore did make an impact on these young men. Even though, the program was cut, Tidmore still continues a relationship with many of these youths.
The humanitarian service award that Tidmore received at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, celebration showed that there are still people in various communities that are actively involved in their community, giving their time, expertise and experience to make a difference in the improvement of the community. Congratulations Michael Tidmore. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of your accomplishments.