Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Developing Options and the Eight District
By Malik Spellman
Published November 5, 2009

Developing Options and the Eight District

Developing Options is an option for the city of L.A. and Crenshaw’s eighth district. According to the police and the statistics department at Developing Options there have been no shootings or murders in the eight district–an area known for multiple shootings over the years. Big U, owner and founder of the Developing Options Program introduced an agenda to concentrate all of its efforts on the safety of the hood, along with the educational development of several young students at Crenshaw High School, and helping in the hood by putting young men in a frame of mind to stop the killing and destruction of their lives. Leading by example, this group of young men, have provided our community with a list of stories about students who they have helped in football programs that have proven to be successful. Thanks to Developing Options the academic scores at Crenshaw High School have increased and the test scores have gone up.

Developing Options is not focusing on Gang Intervention and Prevention as much as they are concentrating on making sure that the human development of our disenfranchised youth is addressed. This group of brothers, like Bear Claws and Ted, Big U along with the homie “no name” have helped to develop the best Football team in the country along with a violence free community based school. This group of street brothers who have decided to go back to school and reevaluate their education to better themselves and community has proven to be a success. Here is a quick list of a few accomplishments that I know of personally. Number one! They turned around a “no desire” education zone, violence-laced school named Crenshaw High Cougars. They have handed out several thousand pounds of food in conjunction with Feed the Children Foundation. This group truly believes in helping to remove the pain and anger in the lives of others. By soliciting people like Mr. Dewight Freeney, a pro football player who is not from this area has donated several thousand of accountable dollars to the group, and has dedicated his time to helping in any capacity possible. And we support this brother who is dedicated and down with helping others who are willing to help themselves. Freeney has held several football camps for the youth over the years. The brothers at Developing Options feel that the world should try and barter with others like Freeney for the sake of the community. In other words if you are a philanthropist they will welcome you and your help of a lttle bit of your time and money with an exchange of good results.

I commend these people for at least trying to stay focused and putting something back. They dream of one day being able to take five million dollars and offer small business loans to high-risk youth and the brothers on the corners, in order to help them learn the value of business and budgeting–this as a way of developing options for those who don’t have a voice in this whole equation. According to the founder of the program BIG U., if he was given the same 1 million dollars they use to bury a person after a shooting, he could empower his community and help to eradicate the violence. The community in which he serves is known more for its violence than its academics.

This type of ambition is welcomed in these trying times. I commend (Eugene Henley) professionally known as Big U and the others who are really trying to develop a program that will address the issues of inner city destruction and disenfranchisement, by dealing directly with the source. In the past most agencies have good intentions toward helping out, but they miss the mark because they never get to the right people. Well that is what makes this group different from the rest; they are the people who you need to speak with for real time results. Even the residents in the area they serve are pleased with the efforts of this group and the fact that now Madera can walk the children to the store in safety.

Before Developing Options was formed, this community had no access to anyone who can show some accountability from a street perspective. Now they have a voice in the community with Developing Options, which is more of a social service provider than anything. The focus of this group is to introduce the children to other forms of anger release ideology by keeping them reminded of the many opportunities that are available to them through sports and higher learning. This organization is also responsible for handing out thousands of boxes of food to the poor residents of their community. The CEO of the company as we know him in the boardroom and on the block, Big U wants to remind the public that they are there to serve the many residents who wants and need their help. They are not just focusing in on gang violence but the whole enchilada.

Often time people want to associate every thing with gangs and the problems they face. But today’s problem is bigger than life so we deal with it as it comes one student at a time, and one child at a time. So please help us help you.

Developing Options has made a difference in the eighth district. For example, for the first time in recent history the area of Tenth Avenue along with the Bryant Hearse area has seen a major decrease in shootings according to L.A.P.D. staff. This is due to the many conversations that have taken place between the Hoovers, V.N.G’S and the 8Tray Gangsta’s. Many of these brothers are starting to wake up to different ideologies concerning the direction of the generations to come.

I can remember when Crenshaw High School was losing its accreditations. Developing Options came along with a campaign to stop the violence in and around the school area which consequently allowed the children a chance to seek and obtain higher learning for themselves. Lets give credit where credit is due! Let us take a look at the football league over at the Shaw. I think it is number one or higher. Thanks to Developing Options, staff members and the infamous Bear Claws these brothers eat, drink and sleep football. They feel that it is definitely a way to give back to an area they have always supported.

I see Developing Options as a group to be reckoned with because of their dedication and ability to communicate the rules and regulations of the right to a safe passage in this life and on the streets. But most of all I have witnessed them teach young people about the law of the land in regards to the police and how to successfully complete a training course on how to not get into trouble and stay off probation. Can you believe it? This group of educational and recreational developers like Bear Claws and others are interested in stopping our young people from staying on parole and probation. In this process I have seen them help young people with jobs, and advice to make better choices in life. I commend Big U for his efforts in the hood.

His group is dedicated to doing the social work that is needed for the eighth district. And honestly I have heard from other people who live in the eighth district including cops who work the beat state that they were supportive of the concepts that Developing Options has used.

One even said to me that he, as a Black urban professional in law enforcement, even feel safer doing his job. So big ups to the Developing Options group in their efforts to eradicate the idea of loosing another human being to the world of make believe. Ted Baker, Eugene Henly family and Inspirational Film Company, Unique Films Videography. This article is dedicated to Mr. Howard Ford (Free the elderly traveler who has been locked away for far too long) but yet he has helped to inspire the brothers over at Developing Options to help better the lives of the young and especially the elderly.

Categories: Op-Ed

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!


LA Sentinel
in your pocket:

© 2017 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

Contact UsAboutMedia KitCorrections & Misprints

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »