This week I had the honor of meeting with Troy Johnson, founder of a non-profit youth mentoring program called YM4C (young men for Christ). Troy moved to the Triangle area in 2010 after meeting his wife and knew he wanted to do something to make an impact on his local community; along came the idea for YM4C. What started as a couple of classes in his local church, developed into a mentorship program centered around sports and character development.
“Our first event was called Man Up: Barber Shop Talk.” Johnson stated; this program invited local law enforcement, social service workers and those involved in foster care to meet with the kids at the barber shop, “It’s neutral territory, makes for a more comfortable setting,” Johnson said. Here they covered topics such as confidence vs arrogance, goal setting, responsibility, etc. purposely structuring the topics so that the kids would be able to lead and guide the conversation.
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Johnson’s dream was to create a mentorship that could teach young men valuable life skills and just have people be there for them. “It’s heart work,” Johnson said “our goal is to be proactive not reactive and to make a difference in these kids’ lives’.” I can say it was an absolute pleasure to meet someone so passionate about helping those in his community and making a difference in the lives of youth, truly a local leader.
YM4C has continued to expand, they now host monthly programs that teach young men life skills. Every 2nd Saturday of the month is the golf program (critical thinking, exposure, life skills), every 3rd Saturday is a video game workshop (coding, fun, fellowship), ever 4th Saturday morning is their boxing program (accountability, fitness, anger management) and afternoon is the football academy (teamwork, fundamentals, fellowship). These programs plus other workshops that include “Balling for Brotherhood” basketball days,a trade options workshop as well as an etiquette program that teaches grooming, skincare and dining etiquette. YM4C is always looking for people who want to support their cause either by volunteering their time or resources and I for one, strongly encourage reaching out via their site (below) if you want to help.
Click here to check out YM4C!