Mentoring program transforms boys to men
Leonard Jackson, Clinton White, Cleveland Police Chief, Calvin Williams,Carl A. Williams, Derrick Burrage, and Hilton Smith (Photo by Bryant K. Kizer)
Do a mentoring program really works? Just ask Clinton White and Derrick Burrage they will tell you and show you that it is life changing.
The two students from John Adams has made great strides since joining the outstanding program called "Saving the African-American Male: "From the Cradle to College".
The mission of the Sovereign Grand Commander, Basil Sands vision is to provide mentoring services to school districts in the Orients/Valleys of our fraternity in caring, competent and professional manner.
Last Thursday, they kicked off another season at John Adams High School. The group will meet with students every other Thursday until the end of March.
The mentoring group is lead by Leonard B. Jackson, John Adams Principal Terrance Menefee, Carl A. Williams (Most Wishful Grand Master Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio), Brian Simmons, Prester Pickett, and Gregory Clifford. Guest speaker was City of Cleveland, Chief of Police Calvin Williams, and Rev. Hilton Smith.
Mostly all of the leaders comes from S.G.I.G 33 lodge.
This group will help students in tutoring, study skills, test taking preparation and other life changing programs.
White is a senior standout student that grew up from house-to-house. But one day, he hopes he could be in the White House.
He told his fellow students that it took hard work to get where he is at and he wants to go farther.
"When I first joined the program I did not think it was good idea. I did not know that everything they said it was true. Since I have been a part of the program it helped changed my life. It helped me to be the person that my mother wants me to be and my siblings," said White, who is the quarterback and captain on John Adams' football team.
Now White is now a part of Marcia Fudge's "Youth Advisory Program".
Burrage came a different way but the result is still the same. Burrage, who is in his third year in the program, did not always listen to Simmons. But now, he is thrilled that he did, because it changed his life.
"Simmons talked to me on how to be a man and take good care of myself." Because of that knowledge he has several college offers just like White.
Becoming a leader is hard to do, but Jackson summed it up, perfectly. "Being a leader is like playing tennis, if you don't serve you will never win."
The Rebels' male youths was in tune to what they were saying and eager to take the next step in being a role model and making good life changing choices.
"Show me your friends that you hangout with, day in and day out, and I will show you your future," said Chief Williams. "If you choose to the wrong friends, your life will not go well. If you choose the right friends, you can go far."