Heavily inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Drum Major Instinct” message, the overall aim of DM Empowerment is to use leadership as a tool to empower, enlighten, and positively influence the academic, social, and personal trajectories of students in grades 9 through 12. In order to reach this goal, DM Empowerment employs marching band drum major training, student leadership development, college readiness preparation, and hazing prevention education.

After earning a Master of Science in Community Psychology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, I was confident that life’s path would lead me to the completion of a doctoral degree to expand upon the Anti-Hazing Research Initiative; however, my personal journey led me in another direction. Life directed me to serve in a plethora of service organizations, including a non-profit agency in the medical field and various secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. After serving in these roles, my understanding and appreciation for the skills, knowledge, and habits learned within the classroom deepened. This paradigm shift confirmed my certainty that, at this point, I would pursue a terminal degree; nonetheless, after a second attempt at applying to doctoral programs, I realized that I would have to take a different approach to pursuing my purpose as an advocate for youth leadership and development.  

With this realization in mind, was created. This platform was developed in 2017 with the support of my brother and fellow FAMU Drum Major, Howard Smart. As time progressed, what began as a vehicle to spread anti-hazing and leadership awareness through blogging soon developed into an initiative to implement high school marching band-training camps, group-facilitated workshops, and interactive educational presentations. This evolved into what is now known as DM Empowerment.  

Driven by the passion obtained throughout DM Empowerment’s initiatives, we are extremely humbled and excited to present the launch of our new website! Please visit for details, scheduling, merchandise, and more. Let’s turn the page on an exciting new chapter!

“Some people have the power to change our lives, even after they’re no longer a part of it.” RIP Aunty Cheryl Hyatt. Your love for people and the community influences me to this day. 2/17/62 – 1/22/2011

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