Covid-19 Update & Flooding: With the spread of Covid-19, The Blue Ribbon Project is following guidance from our local and state government and will be postponing all Volunteer events until further notice. In addition to this, The Blue Ribbon Project recently experienced a significant flood to the lower floor of our building. Repairs are being made, however, this has made some of our rooms inaccessible. Mirah's Closet and other portions of The Blue Ribbon Project are OPEN by appointment.
Taylor Pyles is a child abuse survivor and the founder of The Blue Ribbon Project. He has been a police officer with Annapolis Police Department for over a decade and is assigned as a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Section. When not working, you'll find him spending time with his family and out enjoying the countryside on two wheels.
Taken from his home at eight years old, Detective Tom Pyles knows what foster care is like from both sides. As a police officer, he is sometimes involved in the removal of kids from their homes. He knows...Read Full Story
Backpacks of Love featured in Jaime Costello's 2 Good 2 Be True series.
Recorded News Story from WBAL-Baltimore that talks about Backpacks of Love
Capital Gazette Newspaper:
1:22 p.m. EST, January 23, 2015
Tom Pyles opens the backpack and places the items inside out on the table.
Toothbrush. Clothes. A green and yellow plush frog.
Pyles , a detective with the Annapolis Police Department knows the comfort that the items can bring a child when they've been unexpectedly uprooted and placed into foster care. At 8-years-old, Pyles found himself in that exact situation.
Now 41, Pyles is the founder of the Blue Ribbon Project an organization dedicated to helping the adult victims of child abuse and those that grew up in foster care. Pyles, a product of foster care, was looking over for a way to help kids entering the system.
Over the past several weeks he has been collecting donations for the project's "Backpacks of Love" program. The 10-year police veteran now has about 20 backpacks ready for children entering the system, as well as a stockpile of donated items.
Read the whole story about The Blue Ribbon Project at The Capital Gazette website.
The reality of our world is child abuse will likely never be completely eliminated. While we wish this were true, it is an uphill battle. There is a staggering number of substantiated cases in the United States each year. Additionally, adult survivors of child abuse will be affected over the course of their entire life. The effects of child abuse do not end once one becomes and adult. From drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, PTSD, suicide, continuing the cycle...the list goes on. Our vision is to prevent as much as we can through several outreach programs and bring those numbers down. We teach education and prevention...the more people that are aware and cognizant of child abuse, the more we can get the numbers down. The Blue Ribbon Project offers a variety of programs to serve abused and neglected youth in our community. From early intervention with various awareness programs and presenations, to programs serving youth currently in foster care, to programs assisting adult survivors of abuse.
Tom "Taylor" Pyles founded The Blue Ribbon Project in 2013 as a support network for Child Abuse Survivors and to bring awareness to child abuse and neglect.
They say what doesnât kill you makes you stronger. Thatâs certainly the case when it comes to author and public speaker Keith Edmonds. Experiencing a childhood marred by tragedy, he was faced early on with choices no child should ever have to make. âWhen something tragic in life occurs, you have three choices: you can bottle it up, develop resentment, or face the situation head-on â the third being the choice Iâve made.â It is with this resilient attitude that Keith, despite the resonating effects of his tragedy, has been able to build a life he loves and share his story with others.
The events at Penn State may have been a trigger for many men. This article address how to help them begin, or continue to heal.
This article may not have the festive cheer I would hope for this time of year. Unfortunately my mind has been occupied and my heart heavy with the news of scandal at Penn State. This article will be an important on to remember as you gather this season with your friends and family for all of the men in you life, or yourself.
It is refreshing when I hear and read survivor stories...The "survivor" attitude is something I can relate to...and it's great to see people go from "victim" to "survivor". During my journey as a survivor, I've met some great people along the way. One of those is Aprel Phelps Downey. On this page is more information on Aprel's book, "Mending The Broken Parts". It's not always easy to make the journey to survivor.
Regina's book is probably one of the best books I have read when it comes to survivors of abuse. It's an incredible read and an incredible inspiration for adult survivors of abuse. This book was instrumental in my coming forward and speaking more about my childhood experiences as well as the formation of The Blue Ribbon Project.
(From Amazon) Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.