Male mentoring program launched by Huntsville Parks & Recreation

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Huntsville’s mentoring program kicks off this week. (City of Huntsville)

Huntsville’s Parks & Recreation Department has launched a new initiative this week connecting youngsters with mentors. The department’s Male Mentorship Program launches this week with a free monthly series, titled “Under Construction.”

Officials with the city said the department’s latest outreach is the direct result of community engagement. Here are some more details:

Mentoring program as a community service

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David “Hoss” Johnson will speak at the “Under Construction” kickoff program Thursday night. (City of Huntsville via Facebook)

Topics for the male mentoring program will include building self-esteem and increasing self-confidence, as well as the importance of self-projection, emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills.

“Through speaking with parents and children at our recreation centers and other facilities, we learned there was a real desire for strong male role models in the lives of many boys. After researching the possibilities, we identified boys, ages 7 to 17, as our target audience and got to work!”

Community Services Recreation Superintendent Dorianne Johnson

The program has monthly events planned highlighting the benefits of a mentorship program.

Tonight, participants will meet David “Hoss” Johnson. The Huntsville native and member of the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame played football for the University of Alabama under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant before playing in the NFL. However, it’s his years of helping young people reach their potential that truly cement his legacy.

Events are also scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 10. Professional recreation staff will supervise each free event, which will also include rock climbing, team building and fitness activities. Boys may be dropped off at the facility. However, prior registration by a parent or guardian is required. Registration is open for the October and November events.

These free events are designed to give boys ages 7-17 the tools they need to become positive, self-assured young men. With real talk and a caring approach, boys will learn how to set themselves up for personal and professional growth.

Getting involved

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The “Under Construction” mentoring program meets at the Johnson Legacy Center. (City of Huntsville)

As the program grows, the goal is to not only reach more children but also more adults. Men, ages 18+, are needed to serve as role models and helpers.

Adults who want to become mentors can do so by filling out a Mentor Interest Form.

“I am extremely proud of our team in their efforts to make a difference,” Johnson said. “Launching the Male Mentorship Program will provide young men with character growth opportunities, while also exposing them to engaging recreational activities and community leaders who care.”

For more information, you can email Recreation Administrative Coordinators Dexter Holt at dexter.holt@huntsvilleal.gov or Brian Wilson at brian.wilson@huntsvilleal.gov.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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