Local teens aim to dispel stereotypes by helping the community

NOW: Local teens aim to dispel stereotypes by helping the community


SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A group of John Adams High School students gave back to a local charity in need days before Thanksgiving, while also working to change the narrative about young men of color in the community.

The student group called BROTHERS donated several boxes of food to St. Margaret’s House, a safe haven that’s helped local women and children get back on their feet for more than 30 years.

BROTHERS started seven years ago aims to shed a positive light on young men of color and Monday’s donation to St. Margaret’s house was a part of that mission.

“BROTHERS itself so we pretty much aim to dispel negative stereotypes about minority kids just in high school and just around the world in general, said Christopher Buck, a senior at John Adams High School.

Buck has been a part of BROTHERS since his freshman year. He’s among nearly a dozen others in the group that helped with Monday’s donations.

“I think about November 10th we started collecting food for like a food drive and we just wanted to put it somewhere where I could be like really needed and it could be beneficial to the people," said Buck.

“It’s just a privilege to be here in general and just to be able to give back to you to a place like this,” added John Adams High School senior Tim Davis.

The group collected boxes of food from students and staff at their high school to give to St. Margaret’s house, something the organization said is essential during this time.

“Persevering through this pandemic has put a strain on everyone and I think pretty much anyone can attest to that. So, this is hugely important this is giving people some kind of comfort that they don’t have to stress and worry not just about their next meal, but they’re able to kind of relax and enjoy the holidays,” said Angela Blake, the Assistant Director of Guest Services at St. Margaret’s House.

Mark Geissler the school’s social worker and facilitator of BROTHERS said Monday’s donation is just one of several ways to help the students make positive choices in their own community.

Which he believes is especially important, given with the recent uptick in violence among young people in South Bend.

“Our students are sometimes involved or know the victims. So, it hits a lot of these guys personally and I think that they need positive experiences to kind of counteract some of these difficult things that the community is going through," said Geissler. "One answer to that violence is kind of a peaceful approach to helping people and I think that this is one example of doing that."

“We’re only here to do better for our community and do better for ourselves,” added Buck.

The group is set to go on a college tour of Indiana University South Bend to encourage the students to take that next step to higher education.

If you’d like to volunteer or donate to St. Margaret’s House click here.

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