Recently, Gates County Community Partnership partnered with New Direction to provide inspiration and motivation to young men from the area. The event took place at St. John Community Christian Church in Eure under the oversight of Kris Kahn, McKinley Wilson, Brian Rountree and Sherley Jones Jr. New Direction is a mentoring program that provides young males opportunities to participate in skill enhancing tasks that motivate, build confidence and amplify self-esteem.

“Encouraging our youth today to display positive attitudes and behaviors is integral for their well-being, ultimately contributing to great results at home and at school. Our two organizations united to help young men better understand how their demeanor and disposition will benefit them in the short and long term,” stated Brian Rountree of Gates County Community Partnership.

The mentors utilized activities where the participants answered questions about information shared with them by Gates County Community Partnership director Sherley Jones. Advice was offered on being responsible, respectful and mannerly. Exhibiting a strong work ethic, developing relationships and recognizing good role models were emphasized. “Reinforcing life principles is so important for these young men because too often they are exposed to negative factors which can derail their success. If you meet young people where they are and show them you care, they will trust you. That is what mentorship is about,” said Jones.

The seminar was a success as representatives of the two organizations enthusiastically discussed their plans to work together in the future. Each has a goal of uplift and recognizes that the way to have a lasting effect is to be present with wisdom and a “helping hand.”

“If we collectively work together with parents, teachers, counselors and school boards, these young men and others will not become a statistic of the challenging socioeconomic environments faced in some of our local communities. Mentoring young people and connecting them to positivity through activities in the community prescribes to the philosophy of it takes a village to raise a child,” shared Kris Khan of New Direction. “Our goal is for these young men to do well academically, go on to college or a trade school and attain great professional careers. These students shared aspirations to become lawyers, engineers and policemen. They believe in themselves and can do anything they set their minds to do.”

Gates County Community Partnership is a 501(c)3 designated non-profit whose mission is to inspire and increase community engagement by the citizens of Gates County for the educational and social development of its youth.