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The Get Out Network started out as a way to assist young students, entrepreneurs, and artists with quality video production and technology.

In Cincinnati, in the year 2012, co-creators, Jerry Valentine and Dorian Durant used their skills and passion to develop an organization to cater to their communities.

“We realized the value in the principles that our mothers raised us off of and how they really allowed us to develop as men while developing a passion to give back to our youth and create our own enrichment organization embodying those principles,” Valentine said.

Community Oriented

Although the organization was created in Cincinnati, It expanded to Columbus when Valentine moved to the city in the middle of 2013. It later expanded to Cleveland as well.

The Get Out Network implements four core values into each of their programs: scholarship, service, innovation, and community.

“Our programs are created out of our core values,” Valentine said, “if you look at anything within our organization you’ll find all four of our core values in them somewhere, somehow.”

Valentine identifies community as being the most important value of the organization. The co-creator goes on to express the importance of a good, solid foundation and its role in creating opportunity.

“Everything our organization does involves building good community,” Valentine said, “What better way to build community than teaching people how to serve their own authentically?”

The organization was recently chartered as an official 501©3 organization. This charter makes the Get Out Network an official non-profit organization.

Ohio Based, Nationally Operated

Although they’re based in Ohio, the organization has board members through out the country. Valentine credits technology as the reason they’re able to make it work.

“It is difficult to manage an organization in multiple locations, but technology is the key to making it possible,” Valentine said, “Proper use of technology and good communication is how we make that happen.”

The organization’s Cincinnati Area Director, Nate Hill, created the “Do Something” initiative. It was created off of the simple idea of getting up and physically doing something as the basis for giving back.

“The Do Something Initiative focuses on community outreach, service, and uplift,” Valentine said, “Get Out Network has adopted this initiative in hopes to bettering our serving areas, as well as growing the initiative efforts.”

They also collected and donated water to the Flint Water Crisis. The organization worked with organizations from Cleveland State University to collect the water

Valentine describes the experience as “eye opening.”

“I honestly didn’t realize how big of a deal not having clean water was until the drive started and I thought about how that affects day-to-day life,” Valentine said, “Our secretary Melanie Chavers did a good job in managing the project.” 

Future Projects

The organization also partnered with the Python Software Foundation for a program called PyOhio. The program, which runs July 30-31, uses Raspberry Pi software to teach 30 students to learn basic programming skills to create their own gaming systems.

“We are looking forward to implementing it in local schools and organizations in the Fall of 2016,” Valentine said, “What people don’t realize about Get Out network is that its the creation of a prep school in its early stages.”

Valentine and the rest of the Get Out Network team plan to open at least three in-home enrichment centers in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland by 2020.

The organization also encourages college students to inquire about their Get Out Scholars Program.

Are you interested in getting involved? Visit Getoutnetwork.org.

Watch the entire Get Out Project here. 

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