Recognizing the essential role of youth development in reaffirming students’ trust in the community and providing them support amidst their routine hurdles, Gates County Community Partnership (GCCP) and Gates County Schools are joining hands. The collaborative aims to launch an innovative mentoring program entitled “The Impact Makers Initiative” at Central Middle School.

This ground-breaking initiative will specifically target young men and function as a club, tentatively named “Busting Boundaries – Gates.”

Enthusiastically affirming the initiative, Renoldo Windham, District Data Manager and Assistant Director of Testing/Accountability, Gates County Schools, stated, “We understand the pressing demand for a robust youth development program in our community. The purpose is to prepare our young men to evolve into responsible societal members by exposing them to diverse experiences. We aim to ensure they learn the importance of persistence, cultivate altruistic attitudes, and find direction towards fulfilling lives. Ultimately, we want them to step up as leaders!”

The primary framework of this program will emphasize the “8 C’s:”

1) Character – Demonstrating high moral standards and virtue.
2) Caring – Nurturing empathy and modesty.
3) Contribution – Participating actively across various environments while serving humanity.
4) Confidence – Exuding a feeling of self-importance and belief in personal abilities.
5) Competence – Developing the capability to take effective action.
6) Connection – Experiences providing safety, acceptance, and structure.
7) Competition – Undertaking activities that improve social skills, develop grit, and alleviate fear of failure.
8) College – Promoting academic excellence and acknowledging the importance of higher education.

The program will incorporate structured pedagogy, including enrichment activities and interactive presentations, aimed at promoting self-development. However, the success of the program rests heavily on community support and involvement.

Central Middle School already oversees a thriving youth development venture for girls named “Ladies of Distinction.” This acclaimed program focuses on empowering girls to excel on all fronts – academically, emotionally, socially, and physically.

Kelly Eure, Principal of Central Middle School, commented, “By empowering young females today, we are effectively shaping our future leaders. Through the ‘Ladies of Distinction,’ we create an environment conducive to nurturing brilliant minds. The aspiration is to harness the latent talents of our girl students to produce a generation of assertive and empathetic leaders who instigate lasting change.”

Expressing his commitment to the cause, Sherley Jones, Jr., Director of Gates County Community Partnership, said, “We take pride in offering ‘The Impact Makers Initiative’ as a tool for supporting young men in their academic and personal journey. Our aim is to groom them as positive influencers in the community. Cooperation with the ‘Ladies of Distinction’ is crucial to harmoniously develop individuals who can significantly contribute to society.”

“The Impact Makers Initiative” is slated to commence in January 2024, with scheduled meetings during Viking Voyage club days and after-school.

Gates County Community Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to fostering the youth of Gates County, North Carolina.