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‘100 Black Men’ Changes Student’s Life

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Jojuan Williams said he was headed for trouble when he started at Sanderson High School three years ago.  He had failing grades and fistfights were part of his daily routine.

“I wanted to do what Jojuan wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to be my own self but then I realized what Jojuan wanted to do wasn’t right.”

Then he began attending the 100 Black Men of America mentor sessions and his life changed for the better.

“They’re leaders and black men who have been successful.  They may have been in a bad situation but turn their lives around,” said Cameron Harvey, another student in the program.

The 100 Black Men meet with the kids every other weekend, leading discussions about a variety of topics.  They also go on field trips to places like the Governor’s mansion and to musical concerts, inspiring kids to think big. The teens agree it changed their entire perspective on life.

“Don’t be  a follower, be a leader, be yourself and do what you want to do because it’s your future you control,” said student Jaylan Jackson.

Students from Sanderson High School are not the only people involved with the program.  More than 50 teens from around the Triangle participate.

Student Kevin Bradley calls it an “extended family.”

“I spend time with these guys and I have an extended family, someone to hang out with and have fun with,” he said. “I have people to enjoy.”

Williams said he will never revert back to his old life.

“I see a whole different side to the African-American community.  Everything is different,” Williams said.

He is even reaching out to other kids his age, encouraging them to join the 100 Black Men of America to assure that they, too, are on the path to success.

The 100 Black Men of America will be holding their annual gala at the Raleigh Sheraton Hotel at 7 p.m. April 19.

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Written by Symphony

April 10, 2008 at 5:16 am

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