‘Invest in the next generation’: Broken Men Foundation gives boys tools they need to succeed early
The nonprofit is seeking a permanent home and bus to provide transportation
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Nearly 70 young men are just days away from a journey that will help them become the best version of themselves. The Broken Men Foundation is set to launch a pair of pilot programs alongside its ever-growing mentor program as demand for a more comprehensive resource center grows.
For the last nine years, Ellery Lundy and his team of mentors have touched hundreds of lives across the Richmond metro area through The Broken Men Foundation and its youth academy.
The non-profit supports male teens as young as 11 through a 20-week mentor program and a curriculum designed to boost academic achievement, self-esteem, and community involvement.
“Our mission is to invest in the next generation,” Ellery Lundy said. “We know at this particular time that we need to create better fathers, better husbands, better uncles, better leaders in the community.”
Sitting in front of the non-profit’s new resource center, located inside a medical building in Manchester, Lundy reflected on what it was like to grow up without a father, which is the case for many young men in the program.
“As you develop and grow into an older man, there are some things that you long for or look for,” said Lundy, who is a father of three and now has two grandchildren. He said he wished someone was there to teach him things like changing a tire.
“Just because you’ve been broken doesn’t mean you stay broken,” said Lundy.
On Thursday, Lundy and his team will welcome nearly 70 students, including David Davis-Jeffers, into its annual mentor program. Jeffers, a sophomore in Chesterfield, has been a part of the program since the seventh grade. He sees the mentors as uncles and said he is grateful for his bond with the group and his single father.
“I’m a little more responsible than I was,” said Jeffers, who dreams of studying music production at Berklee College of Music in Boston. “I make beats right now, but I want to learn more.”
The teens will meet once a week for two hours. Students will learn everything from resume building and financial literacy to vehicle maintenance and health and wellness.
A significant component of the program each year is college tours. Flags of different universities adorn the walls inside the center’s computer lab so that students are inspired to think about going to college. Lundy said it would help the non-profit to have a bus to provide transportation for the trips, but they cannot afford it.
“It’s colleges waiting for us to bring these kids, but we can’t afford to pay $3,000 to $4,000 every time we put these kids on a bus to go somewhere,” Lundy explained. “That puts a real big dent in our pocket and pulls away from our resources and things we’re trying to do. "
The organization is also set to launch two pilot programs.
The first is designed for virtual learning and home-schooled students to spend up to two days with an academic coordinator, a retired 30-year educator, at the center. Lundy said that lunch would be provided, and parents would get a break.
The second program is a tutoring service. Students in the mentor program would get an hour of tutoring, then a 15-minute break, before the mentor session begins on Thursdays.
Big plans for growing the program, which could benefit from a larger space.
“We have so many kids that want to come in, but we just don’t have the space,” Lundy explained. “If anyone is out, there is willing to purchase a bus or donate a space, that would be great.”
Lundy said his goal is “brick and mortar.”
“We need a lot of help to get to the next level,” Lundy said.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Broken Men Foundation and its mentor program or would like to donate, you can visit the website or email email@example.com.
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