Family Awareness Community Team (F.A.C.T.) Program, Oklahoma City Police Department
Being a young mother with a busy career hasn’t stopped Crystal Carter from being one of the most active and passionate mentors for the Oklahoma City Police Department Family Awareness Community Team (F.A.C.T), a program that serves inner-city youth who are at-risk to participate in delinquent or gang-related activities.
Since joining the program in 2011, Carter has not only mentored several young people, but also organized enrichment, educational and community service activities to open new worlds of experience for F.A.C.T. participants.
“Wanting to ensure that kids from gang infested and high poverty areas had an opportunity to experience things teir minds could only dream of, she provided our kids with exposure to college campuses, helped many get into college at various universities throughout Oklahoma, and introduced some to creative arts, which allowed them to perform stage plays with a positive message. …” said Lt. Wayland Cubit, program director.
Carter also introduced participants to the literary sector, with two writing and publishing books to help cover graduation and college expenses. One participant even advanced her literacy book venture into a small publishing company and now helps others publish their stories.
Cubit described Carter as a visionary leader who likes to give young people “Taste and See Experiences,” opening them to new possibilities. Through her role as assistant director of Project Threshold at the University of Oklahoma, Carter organized the WE RISE Leadership Girls Lock-in, which paired F.A.C.T. participants with OU students for workshops and fellowship. That event later evolved into the WE RISE Experience, a monthly retreat for F.A.C.T participants in partnership with OU’s Delta Sigma Theta sorority. As a result of these and other partnerships with OU students, Carter has helped the F.A.C.T. program send 14 at-risk-youth to college.
Over the past six years, Carter has personally mentored several F.A.C.T. participants and is currently matched to Jaelyn, 16, a student at Midwest City High School. She helped her mentee secure a summer internship that helped fuel her passion to go to college and someday become a successful business owner.
"In the matter of a year, she’s gone from a B,C,D student to an almost straight-A student,” Cubit said of Jaelyn. “I see the Power of effective mentorship in this paring, and it confirms for me that it’s critical to match youth with not only the right people, but people with the right kind of heart to stick with a kid who needs that extra support.”
About the Program: The mission of the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Family Awareness and Community Teamwork (F.A.C.T.) program is "to positively impact inner-city youth who are at-risk to participate in delinquent or gang-related activities, through positive police contact and community partnerships with the ultimate purpose of altering the youth's perspective on life, their academic future and potential for success.