When Donteh DeVoe was a young adult, he didn’t have anyone to guide him on the right path, resulting in some poor choices and ultimately, time spent in prison. Today, he is passionate about filling these gaps in our Anchorage community.
Donteh’s primary mission is prevention through education and empowerment. “When I see a young adult who is at-risk or has already committed a crime, I think to myself, ‘We have failed you. How could this have been avoided?'” Donteh is a motivational speaker who offers his services free of charge to schools in the community. “I have a list of local schools,” Donteh says, “I call around and ask if they would like a 45-minute session to educate, empower, and inspire their youth. I have children myself and I know their needs. In a lot of cases, the crime could have been prevented.”
In 2015, Donteh founded House of Healing, a transitional home for Anchorage residents who have been incarcerated or faced drug addiction. Donteh himself once lived in a transitional home and saw a need for a home that provided peer support–someone who understood what the residents were facing and walked alongside them through it. “In our home, we don’t test for drug use–I can tell if someone is using something and talk to them about it,” Donteh says, “We stay small because we believe that we can provide better, more personal help that way.” Donteh checks on past residents after six months of leaving the home to see how well they have adjusted. “We have an 88% success rate,” he says.
Donteh keeps himself on the front lines of helping people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of needs. “When people ask me what I do, I always say, ‘I see a need, and I fill it!'” Whether it’s picking up a young man who just got out of prison and taking him to McDonald’s to talk about his options, or providing parents seminars for their children, Donteh is your man. “People need hope,” he says, “Without hope, it is impossible to reach them. I am there to revitalize the goals they originally aspired to.”
Donteh is available to speak at schools across Anchorage and Mat-Su school districts, providing inspiration, empowerment, and motivation to Alaska’s youth. Learn more at DontehDeVoe.com!