Today we’d like to introduce you to Nason Buchanan.
Pain. Purpose. Passion.
In 2002, Buchanan tragically lost his mother, two brothers, and cousin to homicide. After years of support from family and close friends, he moved to Los Angeles to surround himself with opportunity and motivation.
While his past purpose was to become successful and take care of his mother, his new vision shifted to helping those who are less fortunate and lack the privileges that are afforded others in society—particularly youth who are never given a chance. He wanted to take his hardships and adversities and transform them into positive energy and services.
Thus, his passion was born and Buchanan founded a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, DMTL, which bears the initials of his beloved mother, Delores, his older brother Marcel, himself, Tyrie, and his younger brother, Larry. Buchanan’s organization seeks to assist inner-city youth and underprivileged families through specialized programs and activities. Once this became his passion, he realized this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life–coming from an underserved community, he understands the specific challenges and knows the need.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road, but the challenges and obstacles are what have fueled my purpose and turned it into my passion.
Being an outsider of Los Angeles, it took years to develop and build trust in communities. I’ve built long-standing valuable relationships and have created a reputation of consistency, honesty, advocacy, and always searching for additional resources for the community. After the challenges and obstacles of building that trust, my name is now being mentioned in meetings and others in private companies and organizations are constantly being referred to me because I’m recognized as being able to deliver to multiple communities.
With DMTL, funding continues to be a challenge—we strive to find private donors or companies that are willing and excited to invest in our communities. Some companies don’t necessarily want to heavily invest in communities so the challenge becomes finding donors and groups that are serious about making impactful investments based on our expertise and not theirs.
Please tell us about DMTL Nonprofit Organization.
DMTL is a nonprofit organization that seeks to assist inner-city youth and underprivileged families through specialized programs and activities. DMTL provides gang prevention, juvenile delinquency prevention and youth/family development services to the South Los Angeles community. We foster resiliency and pro-social behaviors, enhance academic performance and strengthen family functioning so that youth and their families will be empowered to make progressive life choices. There is also a mentorship component and we have recently developed an economic development program for the community.
Buchanan is the co-founder and President of DMTL. He and his business partner, Maryum Ali, met while they were both working at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), where some of their responsibilities included training and monitoring the City’s gang prevention and intervention programs; responding to gang-related shootings; and working to prevent gang retaliation. With 20 years of experience between them, Buchanan and Maryum understand the best practices that have been used within previous and current gang prevention programs as well as effective interventions and strategies that are not included in some of these program models. Because of their expertise, knowledge, and experiences, DMTL will become the best gang/delinquency prevention and youth development program in America.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I had a very active childhood. I vividly remember my brothers, sisters, and friends playing organized youth sports year round. My father would take my brothers and me fishing and hunting. My mother listening to Sade while two-stepping around the house. We would ride our bikes for miles around Gary, Indiana as kids. I also remember that we survived the Crack Era as teenagers avoiding all of the traps in society for young black men.