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Elkhart Chapter of IN Black Expo kicks off mentorship program

The Elkhart Chapter of Indiana Black Expo kicked off a mentorship program and school supply drive Sunday to help the city’s young black men start the school year off right.

Sunday’s event was called ’30 for 30’ – essentially pairing 30 adult black men in Elkhart with 30 black boys to create a mentorship program ahead of the new school year.

The group gathered at the Pierre Moran Park Pavilion at 5p.m. Sunday and the kids started hearing from local leaders and volunteers.

The speakers encouraged the young men to start this school year with the right attitude, to work hard for good grades and to keep busy with extracurricular activities.

The boys signed in with their contact information so the organizers can stay in touch with them throughout the school year.

Each attendee also left with a backpack stuffed with school supplies.

“Three-ring binders, calculators, a lot of paper, pens, a lot of pencils; everything that they needed,” Indiana Black Expo Elkhart Chapter President Robert Taylor said.

“Right now, man, our boys are kind of lost without father figures,” Taylor said. “So, man, we just want to be a good service to our boys in the streets; make sure that they know like, even though you may not have a father, you got some men that you can turn to like a father figure.”

Taylor said the big goal is getting the graduation rate up in Elkhart.

He and his colleagues plan on hosting more events throughout the school year to keep in touch with the boys and to make sure they know they have mentors they can turn to. 

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