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4 SA organizations get $1.25 million grant to provide mentors for minority youth

Money provided by U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

SAN ANTONIO – It's an effort to reach out to young people, who need to know that someone out there cares about them.

On Tuesday, organizations including: 100 Black Men, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Communities in Schools and Youth for Christ announced they are getting a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to do just that.

Denise Barkhurst, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said through the grant they are looking to provide positive minority male role models to 375 boys.

"Hispanic and African American young boys, who, a lot of them don't have the support and guidance that they need," Barkhurst said. "This grant will help the 375 boys get mentors."

Retired from the Air Force, Charlie Boyd, has served as a mentor for 30 years.

He said what he likes best is making a difference in a child's life.

"The value that a positive adult can make on a child's life is amazing," Boyd said. "They don't care whether you are there all the time, they just need to know that you care about them. So, a lot of people say, ‘I don't have time. I'm not the perfect individual.’ We're not looking for the perfect individual. We just want someone who has a few minutes a month to spend with a kid and can make a positive change."

Boyd said he was fortunate enough to have strong mentors in both his mother and father, but knows not everyone has that in their lives.

"I saw some of my friends fall by the side because they didn't have a positive role model," Boyd said. "So, what I tried to do, my father is deceased now, what I try to do is pay it back and give kids a positive role model that they may not have."

All four organizations worked together to write the grant and were chosen from hundreds of other groups across the country.

For those interested in becoming a mentor, they can call 210-225-6322 or click here.

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