Providing a good example and preparing for success is what Dionne Brown is hoping the Boys to Men Learning Workshop Series does for the participants. The workshop takes place every Saturday in June. It's for boys age 12-18 who do not have a father figure in their home. Brown, the organizer, who also heads up Single Parent Connection Inc., understands why young boy and men need male mentors.
"As a single mother who's raising a young man, although he doesn't have his father present, he still needs that male mentor and role model," Brown said. Her experience as a single mom is how the workshop came to be. Brown hopes the lessons taught during this workshop will have a lifelong impact on the boys.
"Those skills that they learn through this workshop may be something they're able to pass down to their children as well. The hope also is that it will let the young men know that there are people who care about them and their well being," she added.
Brown is partnering with Blended Church's Men's Ministry. Mac McDonald is the lead for the church. He explains some of the things they'll be teaching the young men. "Prepping for job interviews. Shaving, basic life skills, taking about neck ties, how to tie a tie. We're going into self-respect and how to respect others," McDonald said. They'll also be teaching the young men basic home electric and plumbing skills (how to turn off water to the home, knowing location of electric panel, etc.)
Being a part of this workshop and passing on these skills is personal to McDonald.
"My mom was a single-parent. My father died when I was 5-years-old. I understand the need and the gap that is being filled with this opportunity. To be a part of this is a give back for me, for all the things I wasn't able to have in my life when I was a young man. It's full circle for me."
You can register your child by May 29 for the workshop. If there's enough interest, organizers may hold more workshops in the future.