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May 1, 2021
The Vision Program: Values Inspiring Students In Overcoming Negativity.
TJ Griffin is a visionary. As a young man growing up in Lancaster with limited resources and opportunities, he began to craft a vision for his own life that seemed at the time, unattainable. Growing up he recognized the uphill climb of the working-poor didn’t lead to the life he was dreaming of. When he looked around at other young men like himself that had made it, It seemed he had only three options to attain success and prosperity: becoming a rap star, a professional athlete or selling drugs. From a young age, TJ realized there had to be another way, a better path forward.
Through hard work, persistence, and the ability to connect with people and purpose, He built a life and career that surpassed the one he dreamed for himself all those years ago. Finding success in multiple arenas from the music business, acting, public speaking, and property development, TJ is expanding his vision to include opportunity and enrichment for the lives of other young dreamers in the city where he grew up.
Fig: What is the Vision Program?
TJ: Vision stands for “Values Inspiring Teens In Overcoming Negativity” and is a series of educational and motivational programs as well as workshops for at-risk youth and incarcerated teens. Vision uses hip-hop culture and music to break down barriers with youth and influence positive change.
Fig: Where did the idea come from and how did you first get things moving forward?
TJ: The idea came from dealing with my own past as a kid and troubled youth and the influence Hip-Hop culture had in my life. I was working full-time at Manos House an incredible drug & alcohol program for teen boys in Columbia PA by day and working in the music business as an entrepreneur at night and I wanted to find a way to bring both worlds together in a way that could positively impact youth and the idea of Vision was born.
Fig: What prompted you to dedicate your life and talents to this work?
TJ: Working with the youth at Manos House and seeing myself in them, I also saw how misinformed and unaware they were about the culture they live in and how it was negatively influencing much of their decision making. I knew I had credibility in the music business and that I could use that credibly to gain their undivided attention.
Fig: How can people get involved with the work you’re doing?
TJ: Programs and organizations that serve at-risk youth and underserved communities can reach out about the vision program via the website thevisionprogram.com. We are also offering training to youth care professionals, probation officers and other professionals who work in this arena.
Corporations and individuals who are interested in sponsoring opportunities or partnering with The Vision Program to empower the future of Lancaster through the youth can also reach out via website. For more info on Manos House visit https://www.manoshouse.com/.
In his own life and career TJ has achieved success in multiple arenas from the music industry to public speaking and property ownership. Most recently, TJ opened up highly sought after AirBnB in Lancaster, “The Hideaway” designed by his wife Christy Griffin, Owner of Flawless Facade. Through the vision program TJ harnesses the power of connection, culture and creativity to empower young people to aspire to something greater than the life their circumstances would dictate. As a mentor, coach and trainer, TJ is able to come alongside struggling kids and young adults to educate, inspire, and motivate them through mindset shifts and embracing the entrepreneurial spirit.
“I know the struggle, I speak the language, and I know the way out.”