MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local non-profit brought together more than 200 young men for breakfast to kick off the fourth year of their mentorship program on Wednesday.
The Gentlemen’s League fellowshipped and engaged with youth over chicken and waffles, french toast sticks, omelets, bacon, sausage, pop tarts, and of course orange juice to wash it all down.
“Given the recent events that we have been experiencing here in the city, I felt like it was so critical to bring the boys together. We have just been seeing too much violence going on with our black males in the neighborhoods and the community and I felt it was too important for us to be able to really pour into them,” founder Archie Moss Jr. said.
A recent report by WREG revealed that in a 39-day period at least 105 juveniles were arrested for motor vehicle theft.
Moss says groups like his are meeting young people where they are – in the schools – to give them the tools they need to help them lead successful lives.
“We know our young men may have fathers and family members at home that are supporting them. They also need that support in school. That sense of accountability [and] that sense of purpose so if they are falling off track there is somebody in that building that is going to talk to them that is going to hold them accountable,” Moss said.
“It’s great that there are people out here that can help. Some people are not going to help you out here,” Christian Neal said.
Each mentor works with an average of eight students.
“Some of our young men need academic support, some need behavioral support, and some want social support. We really look at young men and kind of figure out what that individual child needs,” Moss said.
“I feel thankful that you are taking time out of your day to be with us,” Koloin Owens from Bruce Elementary said.
The young gentlemen also said having the break is good for their mental health.
The Gentlemen’s league serves 220 students at nine schools across Memphis-Shelby County. To learn more about the Gentlemen’s League, visit here.