I grew up in what people in Memphis call “South Memphis”. I was born to a teenage mother and father. If we consider what statistics say about the children born to teenage parents, I was destined to repeat the cycle. Even though my mother was young, she realized she could not do it alone. So, I had a strong support system with my grandmother, my aunt and my god-mother, Ms. Morris.
Ms. Morris was my father’s ninth grade English teacher. She treated him like he was her own son. When she found out about me, she swooped right in to help support my family in any way possible. As I grew older, she introduced me to opportunities I may not have seen without her in my life. She was my mentor.
When I joined Aurora, my head of school shared the same vision on the importance of meeting the social and emotional needs of our scholars. As a result of this, the Boys Club was born. Mr. Coleman is our Boys Club mentor. He has taken our idea of mentorship and made it a reality.
First of all, Mr. Coleman provides our boys with lessons on manhood and integrity. When our boys meet with Mr. Coleman, they are required to bring their weekly conduct logs. These logs show the points our boys lost and earned around our Pride values. Scholars work with Mr. Coleman to determine goals to work on prior to their next session. Secondly, he has taught them that they are their brother’s keeper. During their sessions, scholars answer to Mr. Coleman and each other regarding the kinds and amounts of points they lose based on the Pride values. As a result of these sessions, I have seen 7 out of the 10 Boys Club members attend the monthly VIP party. Previously, these scholars had not participated in the event.
Each year we are working to increase the number of mentor groups. I am successful today because of what my mentor did for me and I hope our mentoring program plants the same seeds for my scholars.