In May, WRTV shared Dionne Brown's story about starting Single Parent Connection, Inc. and realizing there needed to be a program for young men who come from single-family homes. That's how she got the idea of the Boys to Men Learning Workshop Series. The month-long, weekend program is for boys ages 12-18. Chi-Lynn Vaughn's two sons took part in the June program. Getting them on the right path is one of her top priorities
"I needed something extra for them to do, something extra for them to learn. Being a single mom, I'm trying to show them as much as I can, but I don't have everything," Vaughn said. That's where the workshop comes into play. "It gives you not only something for your children to do but it also gives you a mental ease, knowing I know where my son is right now. I know what my son is doing right now."
Vaughn was impressed with all the skills the program aims to teach.
"Electrical, plumbing, shaving...you don't know how important shaving is until you have to do it. I don't have to shave, so it was cool they learned how to shave." Vaughn says the program also teaches them self-love and self-respect. All of those are things they'll be able to pass down when the time comes. That makes Vaughn happy.
Dionne Brown, mentioned earlier, tells WRTV hearing Vaughn praise the program gives her validation that it is working like she intended. As a single mom herself, Brown knows the struggle wants to help other parents who are going through the same thing.
"Young black men and young men in general are able to get the life skills and things they need to help them transition in life and to be productive members of society," Brown said. With the newly learned skills, Brown says hopefully, they'll not fall into traps in which a lot of young men from undeserved communities find themselves. Brown doesn't want them to become another statistic.