YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two Youngstown organizations are working together to guide young boys in the city.
The United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley and the Kool Boiz Foundation have teamed up to mentor boys from sixth through eighth grades.
“The Kool Boiz organization came to us and said, ‘We want to start a mentoring program with African American and Hispanic men to really target the inner city youth,’ and we were like, ‘This is perfect,’” said Roxann Sebest, director of marketing and communications for United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley.
This is the third year of the partnership. It started out at one school, Youngstown Community School, but this year expanded to include Taft Elementary.
They currently have eight to 10 mentors who meet with the kids once a week during their school lunch hour. They talk with the kids, help them set goals, and they also take them on field trips.
“We know that the young men should be able to look at guys like us that come from the same community, that have different stories to tell. Maybe push them in the right direction, in some cases, and just help out the cause and make our community a lot better,” said Scott Washington, vice president of the organization.
The Kool Boiz Foundation has been around for roughly five years. Washington says it’s important to help lead the younger generation in the right direction.
“I like how, it’s like I have another father figure. They treat me nice, it’s like a family,” said eighth grader Dominick Patterson. “Some people don’t have people like them, like mentors and things, so I think it’s good they come here every Friday and teach us things.”
Washington said they are always looking for more men to become mentors. For more information on the program and to sign up to volunteer, you can visit the organization’s website.