A Letter from the Founder

I almost ruined my entire life before I had a clue what life was about or what I had the potential to be. I grew up in a commutiy where I saw more homeless people and hustlers than dual parent households and professional adults. After years of overwhelming influence, I started to think the illegal activity I saw daily was normal.
My first arrest was for shoplifting from a local store when I was still in middle school. Directly after that I started selling drugs, I was about 13 years old. When I first started high school I could tell that my life was out of control and was leading me in a direction I did not want to go in. I did not know what to do or how to change though. I looked for a mentor but there were no organizations or people who offered the type of assistance I needed.
I was arrested at my high school after being caught with a large amount of money and drugs. I would never attend high school again. I was now an independent adult who could barely read but knew how to sell drugs and survive as a criminal. Every influence I had pulled me deeper in the direction I once tried to run away from. By the time I turned 25 I had been arrested over 50 times, watched hundreds of people be murdered, was kidnapped then left for dead in a robbery, and served almost 5 years of my life behind bars.
I was given an opportunity most people in my position never receive, a second chance. After facing 35 years in prison for another drug conviction, I was released early because the judge over my case saw something in me. I started a business, went to college and earned my degree, and was able to finally get my life on track. Saving my own life was not enough for me. Every single day I watch millions of youth and young adults heading in the exact same path I escaped from. I founded Making the Transition, Inc. because I never wanted another child who tried to change their life to fail because they lacked resources, guidance and support.
Every single day I watch children die, kill each other or throw their entire life away because they have no one there to speak empowering words of love, support and edification to them. Words are one of the most powerful tools we have. Words can rebuild a broken person, or give us the strength to continue. It was once said that evil can only be present when good is absent. I am asking for good people to be present and to help us save, rebuild and prepare our youth for greatness. 
Hope is the most powerful instrument we can give a youth. Hope for tomorrow. Hope in themselves. Hope that they can achieve their dreams, create a life that will bring them fulfillment and make something of themselves. It is possible to provide a child with hope, regardless of what they have endured. Support exposure, education, encouragement, and vital skills stimulate hope because they bring dreams within reach. Working together, we can provide every youth with this and more, ensuring their opportunity for a bright future. 
Dr. Keith Strickland

Keith Strickland

Founder & CEO, Making the Transition

About Us

Making the Transition, Inc. (MTT) is a behavioral modification and life enrichment agency working with inner-city youth and young adults. MTT specializes in cognitive awareness, life skills training, vision building and helps participants create a healthier self-concept, while instilling evidence based practices essential for overcoming various social determinants and life barriers. We provide local governments, schools and non-profit partners with the supplemental support necessary for the populations they serve. We are the missing link to providing a holistic approach that strengthens the services and deliverables to ensure all youth have the skills and opportunities necessary to succeed.


We aim to inspire youth to take control of their lives by creating hope, providing guidance, sharing knowledge, establishing accountability, building and maintaining support systems and motivating positive growth.

Beliefs & Philosophy

We believe that people are born hopeful and naturally have a desire to learn, grow, contribute and achieve. If given the proper motivation, access to the tools necessary to succeed, a support system that cares, and a fair chance, children will grow into adults who are still hopeful. Hope is the most essential element to succeeding in life. Once a person loses hope, they will no longer strive to better themselves. Many youths lose hope because of unbearable life situations they cannot control, a negative worldview and/or self-image, lack of vital resources, negative influences, or because they do not have a clear vision for their life. By providing vital skills, affirmation from a constructive support system, enlightening and encouraging exposure, working as a team to create a realistic and optimistic life plan, and removing problematic habits - every youth will believe they can succeed and the hope they possess will allow them to overcome any issue.


Words From Our Program Participants

"This program provided me with a chance to do new things and meet people who were just like me.  It kept me on the right track and the people who were in it surrounded me with positivity.  It also provided me with one of the best mentors ever.  He was there for me, to talk to me, and I could go to him with anything.  He is still there for me and has done so much for me.  I am glad I met him and glad I got the chance to have this experience."

— Male, Age 17

"I found Keith Strickland's presentation extremely eye opening. He spoke about plan­ning today for the life you want to create for yourself tomorrow, and the negatives of living in the "here and now" or for the moment. His workbook "the 7 5 year old you" is also an eye opener. What I really appreciate about this book is the chapter dedicated to staying focused and not letting yourself be distracted. I believe it is chapter six. None­theless, I think this book was a huge help as far as asking myself the right questions to stay on a progressive and productive course in life."

— Tevin Beckles

"Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situations, but successful people make decisions based on where they want to be. That is what we learned from our visiting speaker, Keith Strickland. He encouraged us to actually look into or futures so that we can make changes. He believes that we all can be the best that we can be when we create real plans on how to get there."

— Lashun Smith

"Attending Mr. Keith Strickland's presentation opened my eyes to how someone could come far and make it, even when it seems the world is against them. It showed me that it's actually not always the world. It could be yourself against you. You have to encour­age your own growth and not give excuses, and that's real."

— Sam Amporful

"Keith Strickland is a reminder that people still care."

— Connor Noah

"Mr. Strickland asked a question at his workshop that I felt very strongly for: 'Would you rather have one good day, or one good life?'  I was truly inspired and this quote is something I now live by. It touched my heart so much that I went home and told my mom about this saying and what this now means to me and my future."

— Imani Cole