‘Real Talk with Real Men’ mentoring program kicks off

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021

On Nov. 7, Families United Training Center kicked off its community male mentoring program. “Real Talk with Real Men” is led by Alonzo Cameron along with a group of dedicated men who want to ensure that the young men in Brookhaven and surrounding areas have the support they need to succeed at home, school, work and — ultimately — in life. The focus of this initiative is to better understand the obstacles confronting the young men with a focus on the role that relationships play in their ability to thrive. The goal is to provide that positive relationship so they succeed in life.

Topics that will be discussed will address the negative outcomes such as low academic deficiency, lack of interest in school, high-risk behaviors, mental illness, suicide and unhealthy living that often cause our young men to go in a direction that is not healthy for them nor our community.

Mentoring can be one of their pathways to success, helping these young men successfully navigate the transition from school to work and from childhood to adulthood.

Statements from the men that attended the first session:

“I feel the first session went very well,” said volunteer Shane Banks. “I think it was more so an icebreaker for the younger guys to sit and listen to us speak on real issues and elaborate on some things they had no idea of. As long as we continue to open up to them eventually they will open up to us and we will be able to make a change. Until then we must continue sharing knowledge as much as possible and hope it helps them make better decisions.”

Volunteer Portica Harris is excited about the possible impact of the program.

“Make no mistake — God has brought forth and allowed the work and efforts of people like (FUTC Executive Director) Falana McDaniel and Alonzo Cameron to collaborate in impacting the lives of male youth in our community,” Harris said. “I am overjoyed at the positivity, content and exposure to everyday, hard-working, civic-minded men in the community that this will produce.”

The next mentoring session will be Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club for ages 11-17. For more information, contact Cameron at 601-263-9601.