Local group in search of mentors for county’s youth

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Diamonds and Pearls
Children of today are subjected to more influences than ever before, but one local organization is making sure that Lowndes County’s youth have an extra positive one.
One of the Lowndes County Community Life Center’s newest programs, Diamonds and Pearls and Boys to Men Mentorship Program, are on the lookout for committed adults to mentor the young men of women of Lowndes County.
The mentors would be asked to spend one hour a week to mentor the county’s future.
The program is designed specifically to guide young men and women through an increasingly difficult maze of adulthood by providing positive role models, encouraging education, absitinence, self-esteem, multicultural experiences and counseling services.
Program director Randall McCall said that there are no true time limits on the amount of counseling the mentors can provide.
“We want them to spend at least one hour, but we know that more than one hour is really required,” McCall said.
“All of the kids are really spread out, and going to Montgomery is a half-hour drive. Then, there’s whatever you decide to do in Montgomery, and also the drive back. It’s always going to be more than one hour.”
But McCall added that the activities don’t always have to be extracurricular ones.
“It could involve helping them with homework, sitting in with classes at school, talking with teachers to find strengths and weaknesses and get them the help they need so that their scores can go up,” McCall said.
The program is designed for all girls and boys, and especially at-risk teenagers.
Young ladies in every community faces a number of widespread issues, including dealing with sex, drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, financial aid, lack of employment skills and college preparatory skills.
Likewise, the focus on the male demographic is on instilling that each boy is a ‘man of honor,’ and arm them with the ability to discover his own individual talents, strengths and gifts.
McCall made it clear that the program isn’t an attempt at parenting, but rather provide a supplemental figure to prove another viable role model.
“We’re not trying to replace the parent,” McCall said.
“But we’re trying to be a positive mentor in that child’s life.”
In addition to monthly meetings, the group often participate in organized trips, including a recent trip to Tuskegee University where the students learned about potential careers.
The group plans to return to the university in February for a more in-depth trip that focuses on Black History Month.
Those interested in mentoring the young men and women of Lowndes County are asked to call McCall at (757) 288-8825 or Maggie Legg at (334) 227-0011.

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