Maleka A. Long
As a young teen, Maleka A. Long found herself on a path to self-destruction.
“I made a lot of bad choices before I learned to make good ones. But I always knew there was more to life.”
Maleka managed to fly under the radar of social services and the juvenile justice system, but she was determined to break the cycle of addiction and dysfunction that was destroying her family.
“I focused on school. I even graduated a year early from Youth Opportunities Unlimited, the alternative high school that I was going to.”
Maleka wanted to change her life, but she found it difficult to do while living in the same environment. After becoming a mother, she made the 20-mile move from South Los Angeles to Long Beach, California.
“That was a drastic change. I could see above the clouds then. Everything was just different.”
Inspired, Maleka switched gears and began to pour into the lives of the kids in her community. This eventually led her to start Love Beyond Limits, a mentoring program for youth between the ages of 7 and 17.
“When I first started, it was just an idea to keep the kids engaged and to talk them through their problems. I just started thinking about things that needed to be addressed--the things that I didn’t get when I was a kid.
Ultimately, this led Maleka to create The 13 Stones, a life skills curriculum for teens. A curriculum that Maleka has now made available to the public!
When Maleka’s not pouring into the lives of the kids in her community, she enjoys sports, spending time with her four daughters, and listening to music. To find out more about the amazing work that Maleka’s doing, visit www.LoveBeyondLimits.org.