Boys To Men: Finding The Right Mentors For Black Boys

African American man and boy sitting outside on picnic table

Black male role models are often hard to come by. They’re out there most definitely, but often not in great abundance in the places where young Black men need them the most. The television provides a distorted reality of what Black male excellence looks like. Without proper guidance and understanding a young Black boy could think that having a lot of money, being sexually promiscuous and abusing drugs and alcohol could be the way to go. For Black families, particularly single Black mothers, it’s utterly important to surround young Black boys with a Black man who is about something.

St. Paul Saturdays in St. Louis, Missouri was started with the goal of transforming boys into young men. They live by the motto, “building men is better than mending boys.” Keith Turner, mentor for St. Paul Saturdays and CEO of TurnGroup Technologies,  tells that the model of St. Paul Saturday is successful because the focus is the boys served.

“Grooming them, helping them, teaching them, and helping them set goals is why it works. Our program is a supplement to the parents and the guardians. We set high goals for the young men and provide them with tools and experiences to help them achieve them.”

The mentors for St. Paul Saturdays are African American men who understand the value of grooming boys to become responsible and accountable to the needs of their respective community.

Kadeem Howell is a doctor of physical therapy based in New York City. He specializes in sports rehabilitation, orthopedics and manual therapy. Dr. Howell provides us with an in-depth analysis of what it means to be a mentor and how to find the right one.