NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is committed to showing you the problems in our community with lights are flashing and sirens blare — but we also want to showcase what’s being done to solve those problems. One of those positive efforts is happening this week on the Peninsula.
Nine teenagers in Newport News will take a major step toward bettering their futures, and they’ll have mentors by their side. It’s all part of a program with one specific purpose: to guide young men in the right direction and show them the value of paying that goodwill forward.
“I have any number of kids that I feel would not have gone to college, would not have been as successful as they are, had they not come our way,” said Arthur Price, adviser of the Hampton-Newport News Kappa Youth Leadership and Achievement League.
“I took the opportunity, by way of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, to pay back some of the things that were bestowed upon me as a young man growing up in the East End,” Price said.
The program pairs young men between the ages of 13 and 18 with mentors who form a vested interested in seeing a positive outcome for them in the end. The fraternity also has an athletic program in Hampton for kids as young as 6. Over the years, they’ve gained a pretty successful track record, with local young businessmen, like Garnell Scott, among the ranks of former mentees.
“We do the very best we can to touch as many as we can and provide for them a respite from the drudgery of the street,” Price said.
“I remember one of my math teachers, who was a Kappa, and thought I’d be a good fit for the program because I wasn’t acting all the way right in class,” Scott said. “They just really need somebody to show them that you can do this, too. Sports is wonderful, but there are other ways that you can be successful and you can make a difference.”
They’ve made a difference for these nine teens and many more, helping them to avoid the flashing lights and sirens. Scott calls his introduction to the Kappa League life changing. He’s now a mentor, who’s also working on getting his master’s degree.
On Friday, another group of young men mentored by the Kappa League is committing to college. They’ll also sign a document that outlines their dedication to strive for academic and personal excellence in pursuit of their college education.
The Kappa League 2015 College Signing Day event will be at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in Newport News on Friday at 7 p.m.
If you want your son or a young man you know to participate in this program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.