National Youth Director, National Action Network / Founder Youth in Action
At nine-years-old, Mary-Pat Hector learned of the frightening statistics affecting the youth in this country and made a commitment to becoming an activist to shed light on youth -issues. She became the youngest playwright and director to ever put on an all youth sold out production for her play entitled “East Street Ain’t Easy” that returns to production this summer and is also the title of her first book. The play/novel explores the topic of child cruelty, sexual abuse and bullying.
When Mary Pat was ten-years-old she founded Youth in Action and began to mobilize young people across the country to take a stand on issues like bullying, gun-violence and drugs. In addition to her duties as founder & spokesperson for Youth in Action, she is National Youth Director of National Action Network Youth Move, the organization founded by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton.
Mary-Pat speaks throughout the country educating youth on violence and other issues crippling her generation. In a recent speech in Washington, DC Mary Pat spoke of jobs for young people and providing programs across the country for them as alternatives to gang involvement and violence.
Through National Action Network Mary Pat provides teen-safety workshops for schools and trains teens and college students in many areas of youth advocacy techniques. Not content to rest on her accomplishments, Mary-Pat travels an average of 4,000 miles a month speaking at high schools, colleges, conferences, woman’s events, and crisis shelters across the U.S. She recently spearheaded the national “Shake off the Violence” Tour urging youth to put down guns.
Mary Pat has many accolades including awards from President Barack Obama for Community service, the 100 Black Men of DeKalb for Outstanding Youth Activism, and she received the 2011 Woman of Power Award during NAN’s 20th Anniversary national convention which was presented by President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Mary-Pat was a National winner for Kohl’s Kids Who Care and has received numerous awards and national recognition for her philanthropy throughout the country. She has been featured on C-SPAN, CNN, Rolling Out Magazine and regularly does local radio and television stations across the country.
Quotes about Mary Pat Hector
“Let’s begin with the wonderful 365Black Awards presented by McDonald’s.
First of all, let’s talk about these phenomenal kids doing true service to mankind. Since it’s Essence weekend and it’s all about the ladies, teenage anti-violence activist Mary Pat Hector is the Shirley Chisolm of this generation. That girl is passionate about her cause and is really making a difference through her leadership as the national director of the National Action Network Youth Move.”
July 7, 2012 in Essence Music Festival Wrap-up