BLOOMINGDALE, Ga. (WSAV) — A local youth development and mentorship program is inviting the public, including prospective mentors and mentees, to attend their community event on Saturday.
M.A.L.E. Dreamers will host its “Insurrection to Resurrection” event at Gateway Church’s Pooler Campus in Bloomingdale.
Organizers say they scaled back on hosting in-person events during the pandemic, but as public places open back up, they hope to continue connecting with the young men they mentor.
“We’ve always coined the phrase, ‘staying connected through our faith, family and favor,’ and we felt like this time was a time that we can evolve and spring forward with the springtime,” said M.A.L.E. Dreamers founder and executive director, Robert Jordan.
M.A.L.E. is an acronym for Motivated Aspiring Leaders of Excellence.
Jordan, who leads the organization alongside president Adrian Gibson and vice president Tyrell Morris, launched the local mentorship program over five years ago.
Today, 12 mentors and over 70 middle and high school-aged mentees make up the organization.
The theme of Saturday’s event is “Where do we fit in today’s society?”
“The pandemic was very hard, especially for the kids not being able to go to school and see their friends and be sociable,” said Gibson.
“We wanted to bring the boys back and say, ‘hey, now that things are opening up, let’s kind of rise above the situation, let’s rise above what’s happening and let’s discuss mentally where you’re at,” Jordan told WSAV NOW.
He adds that boys and families currently not involved with M.A.L.E. Dreamers are encouraged to attend the event, which will feature a panel discussion of guest speakers and performances.
“It’s for the entire family because we have a lot of things that we’re offering, from the different local performing artists to dynamic guest speakers that are coming to tell their stories to empower the boys,” Jordan said. “We’re offering hope.”
Guests include motivational speaker and advocate Julvonnia McDowell; recording and spoken word artist Willie G; and artist and songwriter Calvin J. Ford.
Seven local leading women will receive honors for their community contributions at Saturday’s event, including WSAV Coastal Sunrise Anchor Kim Gusby.
Organizers say they’re also collecting household goods and toiletries to benefit Family Promise of the Coastal Empire.
“We’ve been supporting Family Promise now for at least two years,” Jordan said, adding that director Katrina Bostick is among the women who will be honored.
“We want to collect toiletry items like laundry detergent and cleaning items so that she can give those items and gift baskets to those families,” he said.
M.A.L.E. Dreamers also encourage any men who are interested in joining the organization as a mentor to stop by.
“We’re always looking for men to be a part of M.A.L.E. Dreamers, we want to be a presence for the men to step up and be a part of the community, be a part of these children’s lives,” Gibson said.
The “Insurrection to Resurrection” event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 10.