Cornell Stone

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Y.I.M.A.E.'s Founder...
and HIStory.


How on Earth could one young boy suffer so much widespread neglect, brutal beatings, physical and emotional pain, and HORRIFIC abuse? How could a teenager struggle through so many years of constant disappointment and abandonment and not give up on life, fall victim to the streets, get lost in the juvenile detention system, or worse, become another statistic on some homicide or suicide list? How one person could experience so much heartache and tragedy at such a young age and not fall apart into many pieces is beyond most people’s realms of understanding... until you meet Cornell Stone, founder of Youth in Media and Education (Y.I.M.A.E.). That is when you know that there is obviously a higher power working in his life. God’s hand was orchestrating his every move—for his life story is not one of defeat, failure, hopelessness, or despair.

Although he suffered tremendously, his story is about surviving, persevering, and overcoming his hardships triumphantly. It is about the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to break through adversity with courage and strength. His life story demonstrates the power of forgiveness, redemption, and faith. You see, Cornell knew very early on that God had a plan and a purpose for his life that would be revealed some day. But, he had to first clear his heart from the pain caused by others in order for God to use him as a vessel to help other troubled, at-risk youth. It is through his life story and strong desire to obey God, find his purpose, and help others that sparked the genesis and the birth of Y.I.M.A.E.

A native Washingtonian and a product of D.C.'s notorious foster care system and mental hospitals, Cornell Stone's early childhood was one of rampant physical and sexual abuse and neglect. The youngest of nine children, he was removed from his biological parents’ home due to violence, mental, and physical abuse and placed in what should have been better circumstances. They weren't.

After bouncing from countless foster homes, psychiatric treatment centers and mental institutions, Cornell took to the streets in a desperate attempt to survive. He drifted among the neighborhood, struggling to stay one step ahead of social services and the law. He didn't. Cornell was placed in a mental hospital (Saint Elizabeth, Washington D.C.). At the age of 13, he was physically abused and attacked by a counselor at Saint Elizabeth Hospital. That is when Family Court Judge, Honorable Gladys Kessler, wrote a personal letter to Cornell, apologizing for a failing system. She sent him to a boarding school (Glaydin School in Leesburg, Virginia) where he slowly began to turn his life around.

Cornell didn't allow his circumstances to keep him from praying and understanding that God had a purpose and a plan for his life. Unaccustomed to any structure in his life while growing up, he readily admits that "he wasn't liked all that much by his peers." But, his natural congeniality outweighed his penchant for trouble, and he left Glaydin boarding school as one of their most popular students, graduating with honors.

Encouraged by teachers and counselors, Cornell began to focus on his education and take his talent for singing more seriously. He was accepted into the vocal program at Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts in 1986, where he perfected his craft and embarked on the path to a professional singing career. He graduated from Duke Ellington in 1988 and began the pursuit of a recording career.

Unfortunately, Cornell had to put his singing pursuits on hold to find a job for much needed income. He was able to get a job at Saint Elizabeth Hospital, longing to understand the mental illness from which his mother was suffering. He also wanted to make a difference in how counselors and staff treated the patients after his memories of betrayal. Cornell worked at Saint Elizabeth Hospital, John Howard Pavilion for over a period of 16 years, receiving numerous awards and accolades. He would always have a testimony to share with his colleagues and listeners about how his life was always in turmoil, but he knew there was a divine plan from God and he needed to trust God and not his temporal circumstances.

After several staff and friends encouraged him to continue to pursue his singing career, Cornell moved to Los Angeles in 1995. After several false starts and countless deals gone awry, Cornell was signed by G Force Records and released his first single. Larry Flick of Billboard Magazine wrote, “Stone is destined for stardom!” “The richest voice the music industry has yet to hear."

After leaving L.A., Cornell returned to DC and decided to market his own product. After selling an impressive 6,000 copies on his own, he was signed to an independent label. Cornell returned to the studio, working with some of the most prominent producers in the area, and emerged with the CD "STONED" in February of 2002, which achieved great success in Europe, making him one of the most promising artists of that time. His CD topped the charts at number one, which led him to interviews in Sister2Sister Magazine as well as top magazines in the U.K.

With this kind of success, he was offered several record deals from various record labels. However, Cornell’s independent label declined offers from major labels to buy him out of his contract and decided to move forward with promoting the "STONED" project. Cornell’s discontent with the label's decision and breach of contract stalled his career for a period of two-and-a-half years. This resulted in a major legal battle, which placed him in a state of depression.

However, the most unexpected tragedy occurred when Cornell received the news that his mother, Willie Mae Fraley, was murdered at Saint Elizabeth hospital in 2004. This news devastated him. Uninspired to continue to create music, Cornell changed his profession, took time to heal from the tragedy, and decided to end his music career.

In 2006, Cornell began a career as a Program Monitor at the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services. He was promoted after three years to a Contract Service Specialist. While there he received one of the highest honors in the District of Columbia for outstanding work and rendered services, the “Employee Spotlight.”

Cornell knew that this was the beginning of God’s promises to him for his obedience in allowing Him to order his steps. God spoke to Cornell in a vision and told him to launch a program that would change the lives of youth forever. Cornell took the road map that God gave him and began the journey of forming Youth in Media and Education (Y.I.M.A.E.). He began to realize that God didn't allow those past childhood struggles and his trials as a young adult happen to him in vain. He just didn't completely understand them. Two of Cornell's favorite sayings are “God makes no sense” and "Death and life is in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” Cornell says with conviction, “Now that God knows that He can trust me with His divine plan, I am ready to bring forth the power of success, integrity, and wisdom that will produce fruit in the lives of youth across this country and around the world. As the spirit of God has Y.I.M.A.E. to align itself with the land of Israel, I believe that Y.I.M.A.E. will change how the government, nonprofits, for-profits, public schools and the community at large will interface with youth." Cornell fully understands that Y.I.M.A.E. is God's program because nothing can be done without the power of God's hand orchestrating His will through His plan and purpose.

God Bless Y.I.M.A.E.!

The mission of Youth in Media and Education (Y.I.M.A.E.) is to promote artistic expressions and self-empowerment through a comprehensive program that covers all areas of academics, the entertainment/media industry and vocational training. Through the program, court and non-court involved youth will enhance their social skills and transition into productive citizens in the community at large.

©2010 Y.I.M.A.E. (Youth in Media and Education). All Rights Reserved.
All language on this site has been copyrighted, and the concept of this program is protected.

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