Gerald Thompson, Founder, CEO/Executive Director
GERALD THOMPSON, CO-FOUNDER & BOARD CHAIR
Pathways To Your Future
Greetings from the Founder!
Pathways To Your Future has experienced change and growth over this past year. PTYF engaged in capacity building and as an outgrowth of capacity building, the Board of Directors and Dr. Micheal Williams of Messiah’s Ministries & Services engaged in a very fruitful Strategic Planning Process. The Strategic Plan was made possible with a grant from The John Burton Foundation. The Strategic Plan took shape through an iterative process of facilitated group discussions, research, drafting, and review.
In completing this strategic planning process, PTYF has a consistent framework for articulating our purpose, values, roles, objectives, strengths, and weaknesses. Our Strategic Plan provides a roadmap to a future where the needs of our organization and our constituents are better served.
PTYF is now poised to not only continue its current operations, but also strategically develop comprehensive supportive services and organizational capacity that will develop a one-stop state-of-art facility with sufficient space to accommodate its administration and supportive services for more foster and homeless youth. PTYF Strategic Plan assures Los Angeles County foster and homeless youth that their adulthood lifestyles and careers can be achieved and realized.
Click here to view the Strategic Plan.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Mr. Thompson attended Jefferson, Fremont and Manual Arts High Schools. Gerald spent most of his teens in gangs and was arrested at the age of 19 and sentenced to 15 years in a federal correctional institution for bank robbery. While incarcerated, Gerald completed his GED and furthered his education by completing his Associates of Arts degree in Sociology.
In 1989 after 19 years of alcoholism, drug addiction and subsequent homelessness, Gerald got clean and sober and founded the agency called Building On Sobriety; Inc. referred to as “BOS.” During the 11 years that BOS was in existence, it provided housing and supportive services to over 3,000 men, woman, and children with its Sober Living and Homeless Shelter Program. Many of the former clients are still sober and are productive members of society. In 1992, he managed the HUD 203K Homeowner Program and assisted 15 low-income families in purchasing their first homes. Gerald helped to turn two run down motels into housing for homeless men, women and children in South Los Angeles in 1995. For over 22 years, Gerald has championed the fight against homelessness in South Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.
In 1995, the nationally acclaimed organization Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder (MAD DADS), elected Gerald director of the Inglewood, Lennox and South Bay Chapter. This program worked with residents to fight against violence in their neighborhoods through “street patrols,” block clubs and prevention/ intervention programs. In 1996, he started the community event known as A Gathering of Men Breakfast and in 1999; his chapter of MAD DADS became “The Frontline Soldiers”. The Frontline Soldiers are a cohesive group of community leaders, men, women, and youth including former gang members who work to empower their community to curtail the effects of violence and drug abuse. Each year, the unsung heroes of our community are recognized at the Frontline Soldier Awards Breakfast and Fundraiser. In addition, the Mentee of the Year Award is given to youth who complete the Pathways Youth Leadership Development Training Program.
Mr. Thompson is the co-founder and Board of Directors Chair and former Executive Director of Pathways To Your Future (PTYF). PTYF founded in 2000, provides gang intervention groups, alcohol and drug education, and youth leadership development to youth between the ages of 14-18 in a variety of schools in the Inglewood Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, California Charter Schools, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education Schools. In 2005, Gerald went back to his passion and created Pathways to Success Emergency and Transitional Housing Program (PTS). For the past six years, PTS has provided emergency and transitional housing, mentoring and supportive housing services to over 300 transition aged youth, ages 18-24 years, with up to three children ages infant to 5 years.
Awards and Presentations
- Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles Mayor Antionio Villaraigosa for volunteering for the 77 Florence/Graham GRYD as a member of the RFP preview panel, 2008
- Service Award for working on the reduction of youth gang violence, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, 2005 and 2008
- Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, Ambassador for Peace, 2004
- Recognition “for over ten years of dedicated and tireless effort to intervene and prevent gang violence”, Speaker of the CA State Assembly, Herb J. Wesson, Jr., 2003
- Spirit Of Peace Award, 2003
- California State Assembly, Certificate of Appreciation, 2002
- Presented the Key to The City of Hawthorne, CA, 2002
- California Mentor Summit, Disneyland Hotel, Facilitator- “Recruitment for Specific Populations”, 2001
- Eureka Fellowship Award, Recognition of Commitment to Community Service, 2000
- California Mentor Summit, Disneyland Hotel Presenter-“Strategies for Culturally Appropriate Mentoring”, 1999
- LA County Commendation Community Award for The Annual “A Gathering Of Men” Breakfast, 1999
- Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Community Award Commendation 1999
- California Youth Authority, LA DADS Program, Youth Mentoring Award, 1998
- State of California Governor’s Mentoring Partnership, Mentor of the Year Award, 1998
Lompoc High, Business Major graduated with honors
Associate of Arts Degree in Sociology, University of Santa Barbara, 1969
Special Completed Training and Workshops
Technical Assistance Training for non-profit organizations, Calif. Assoc. of Women Commission
Social Model Recovery Homes
Watts Health Foundation education and training classes on HIV/AIDS
CalPartners Coalition Mentor Training
ONTRACK At Work Drug/Alcohol Training
Maximum Force Enterprises, Inc. Community Street Patrol for Gang Intervention
Former “Citizen Police Oversight Commissioner” for the city of Inglewood, 2006 thru 2008
Consolidated Reality Board
Eureka Fellows, a national organization of Executive Directors
South Central Alcohol and other Drug Coalition (AAAOD)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Multi-Faith Executive Council