Inspired by the senseless beating death of Derrion Albert in hometown of Chicago’s south side, radio personality Michael Baisden has embarked on a 70 cities tour entitled the 1 Million Mentors.
In each city the charismatic radio host of the syndicated Michael Baisden radio show hopes to encouraged people especially African American males to get involved locally in a mentoring program by either becoming a mentor or donating money to local mentoring organizations. Through his foundation he is donating $5,000 to a program located in each city he visits.
Mr Baisden who is also a best selling author rose to fame with his unshakable leadership and national support of the Jena 6
Febone1960.net was invited to observe the tour which is sponsored by the 2010 U.S. Censors.
The statistics cited by Big Brothers Big Sisters one of the partners with Baisden’s mentoring initiative was shocking. The following statistics are for one city only. Serving over 2100 kids last year (56% African American, 15% Hispanics), the Hillsborough County, Florida organization has a waiting list of over 800 kids. Seventy percent of that 800 consist of males (42% African American; 24% African American females; 8% Hispanic boys and 4% Hispanic girls). Only five percent of Big Brothers in that locale are African Americans. Although its a little better, African American women in Hillsborough county are not stepping up to the plate either. Only fifteen percent of Big Sisters are African Americans.
On the Hispanic side, the numbers for Hispanic Big Brothers and Sisters are 4% and 6% respectively.
100 of these kids avoided involvement with juvenile justice, 91% improved their school behavior, 96% improved their school attendance, and 98% were promoted to the next grade level.
Because it cost $1000 per year per match, the matching process is a long one which make the kids safety a top priority. Each mentor must undergo a serious background check which includes exploring whether a criminal background exist with the potential big brother or big sister. Consistency is also a major factor in the selection and matching process.
At this particular meeting, a High School teen spoke of scoring high on her SAT as she looked forward to attending College. A year ago, she did not see much promise in her life and attempted to end. She spoke to how a mentor at the Academy Of Hope helped her realize that she was somebody special and her life was worth living.
Too bad and so sad that Nadia Brianne Matthews a softball superstar was not come to the same conclusion. Matthews who as sophomore already had a full college scholarship to attend sports power house Arizona took her own life after an uneventful softball practice.
Unlike the Academy of Hope teen, Matthews lived in a middle class neighborhood with two caring and attentive parents.
Both of these young ladies reminds me of the Febone1960.net Conversations With Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, Malcolm X, oldest daughter. During that conversation, Ms Shabazz indicated that all kids are at risk.
Not only is a mind a terrible thing to waste, but a life loss to suicide is also a terrible thing to waste.
Our children are at risk and we need to step up to the plate to save them by supporting Baisden’s mentoring initiative.
Take a look at the clip above for highlights of the Baisden tour which includes donations made to the mentoring cause.
For more information about 1 Million Mentors Tour or how you can get involved please go to MichaelBaisden.com
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