Rakim Covington, NuLeader Apprentice Organizer

Pronoun: He/Him

As I look back over my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.
— Rakim Covington

Rakim Covington is a Human Justice Youth Fellow with the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, an independent research, training and advocacy think tank that applies Human Justice to achieve public safety, racial equity, community investment, human development and well-being in society. Founded and developed by academic professionals with prior experience within the criminal punishment system, the organization is the first of its kind in the country.

Rakim Covington was born and raised in Brooklyn NY by the NY foster care and group home systems. He is an expert on what youth go through in the system and the effects of system involvement on young black and brown people in New York. Rakim’s system involvement has allowed him to mentor youth as a messenger with experience. Rakim went from the system, to foster care, to a group home, he was then released to his mother’s custody and faced a state bid a few years later. The system creates a void in your life. The love he looked for in his family was filled by what he found in the streets.

After Rakim did 5 years in prison, he came to CNUS and spoke with CNUS staff. Rakim continued to come back to CNUS feeling like he had heard it all before but he really got into the work of the Center and devoted himself to contributing to the vision of CNUS.

Rakim remains at the Center because he understands the vision and feels like it is an extended family that he will always be part of. He continues to go above and beyond, coming even when he does not have to, to improve the work of the Center and contribute his specific expertise particularly around youth involved work.

Rakim is passionate about fatherhood, he is the father of a 6 year old girl. He is passionate about meeting young kids he used to run the same streets as, and offering his experience and exposing them to where they will end up if they don’t pursue their own positive potential.

Rakim can do it all. He takes pride in being able to maneuver any kind of situation or assignment with an emphasis on timeliness and getting the job done right. He consults around programmatic issues involving violence prevention and youth empowerment work. Rakim also offers assistance with youth involved in Next Steps Programming.