New Benton Harbor organization hopes to inspire youth
January is mentorship month. And a Benton Harbor man is using the occasion to spark a new organization that is helping kids in Southwest Michigan.
B.E.Y.O.U is a passion project of Benton Harbor's Jerry Edwards. B.E.Y.O.U focuses on mentorship of youth through sports, community picnics, and service projects.
Edwards says he ran a similar program in Chicago, where he had lived since in 1979.
Edwards says he came back to visit for the holidays in 2014. And he decided to stay and make it happen here. Edwards says it's all about getting kids away from violence, gangs and drugs while they are out of school.
"There are kids who don't want to be a part of that," said Jerry Edwards. "But who is going to show them how to get out of it gently? You can't snatch them. No. Gently."
Since starting the organization, Edwards says he has seen support from other organizations and businesses like Lowes and the parks department. It is free for kids and their families.