The Agape Society
AGAPE (Uh - Ga - Pay) is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.
The Agape society is a community of givers, people from all walks of life who believe in the power of love and the impact that it has on people when it is paired with coaching, mentorship, teaching and access to resources.
Consider the years that it has taken most of us into our adult lives to accumulate the personal and interpersonal skills needed to compete in all of the arenas that we exist in within our lives. Imagine if a place existed that started intentionally building those skills within you at the age of 10 while simultaneously teaching you the methodology around mastering a skill. How much further would you be in your journey? The Agape Society was built to be that love-love society. Our community of givers remove all barriers to entry into the environment of unconditional Agape love and commitment that is provided to each child of The Agoge Project.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
— Lao Tzu
The Agape Society recognizes the generosity of our greatest supporters. Its members are not defined by how much they give, but by their dedication to consistently giving so that opportunities are always available for the youth of The Agoge Project. This special group is composed of individuals and families who have elected to recognize The Agoge Project(TAP) in their legacy giving and/or have chosen to donate to our mission on any recurring basis, including recurring employee giving program gifts. Corporations have a special place within The Agape Society and are recognized for their recurring donations and for matching employee gifts.
“Your act is not an act of support, it is an act of love” — Michael Brooks
History and Meaning
The Agoge Project was named after “The Agoge” in Ancient Sparta. The word “Agoge” means “raising” in the sense of raising a child toward a specific purpose. In Sparta this purpose was to build their youth into the most formidable class of warriors that the world has ever seen. This was accomplished and maintained for hundreds of years through rigorous training within a specialized community of individuals who loved their culture at a depth that they were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to protect it. An environment such as this is the reason why their people were able to thrive and build a legacy of excellence in their respective arena that is still revered today. The Agoge Project works to create a specialized community that pushes the bounds of our participants' limitless potential while they develop skills and relationships that will carry them through their lifetime at an elite level.
As a life-long athlete, competitor, and martial artist, who also is a Greek American, our founder Michael John has always had a deep connection to Spartan Culture. Not just for their success on the battlefield but for the standard that they maintained, the commitment to being elite, and the pride that they had in their community. All of these are themes that parallel any sport or activity that is played at a high level. This put him in a position as a hopeful for real success going into high school.
After a series of traumatic events, bad decisions, and poor company as a teenager, Michael lost his way. He quickly found himself as an active participant in a world consumed with violence and iniquity. This carried on for the majority of his high school experience causing his grades, status on sports teams, relationships with family and friends, and post high school opportunities to wither away. This culminated with a few months of violent encounters that left his family and friends not only scared for his life and safety but for their own as well. Overwhelmed and at rock bottom, Michael agreed to attend a christian retreat to get away and assess his path forward. While there he was overwhelmed with the love that he was shown and the connection that he made with those of similar experiences to him. He was also refreshed by not only the opportunity at a fresh start in his life but at the possibility to use his experiences to be of service to others. Unbeknownst to him, the seed had been planted for what would one day be The Agoge Project and The Agape Society. After years of working to get his life back on track, graduating high school, getting back to competing and pursuing a college degree. Michael found himself wanting to pass down the lessons that he had learned to the younger generation in hopes to help and guide them the same way that the people in his life did for him.
Fast forwarding to the present day, Michael is currently still pursuing this path as a Middle school special educator for Baltimore City Public Schools and the founder of The Agoge Project (TAP) established in December of 2017. TAP is currently serving 50 youth in The Belair Edison Community and providing them with a safe facility where they are receiving over 1,000 hours of FREE out of school programming a year that includes classes in Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Strength and Conditioning, Academic Support, Mentorship, and Life Skills Development Workshops.
As the organization has grown and gained notoriety for the work that is being done there are always questions being posed to the staff around their “why”. This answer is quite simple actually, it's love and through love all things are possible. This idea is what led to the birth of The Agape Society. Love is what pulled a lost young man on the brink of self destruction back to a person with purpose, vision, and commitment. Love is what brought the coaching staff together to build a platform for our youth to be pushed to their maximum capacity, supported through their largest challenges, and celebrated through their greatest accomplishments. And love will be the fuel that continues to push the people in and around our organization to reach their maximum potential through the contributions made by those members of The Agape Society.
“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however makes a life” —Winston Churchhill
If you are interested in learning more or becoming a corporate member of The Agape Society, please email us at email@example.com