Eleven Black Men of Liberty County held its 18th annual banquet Saturday on Fort Stewart, where the group honored its eight middle- and high-school aged members for their achievements.
During the event, the youth, called “transcenders,” performed a skit based on the theme of “Your Life, Your Choice,” and two transcenders were honored for their academic achievements, according to club President Robert Bell.
“We want to do everything we can for our community, and one part of that is by working with our youth and making sure they know the right path to take to be successful,” Bell said of the nonprofit group’s mission.
Guest speaker Rear Admiral Annie Andrews spoke to the students about the importance of family, making the right decisions and youth holding steadfast to their dreams. The event offers the group a chance to showcase its transcenders.
Bell said that all of the youth members of the group are called transcenders, and the adult members are called directors.
Currently, there are eight transcenders and 20 directors; historically, the number of transcenders is between eight and 12.
The organization is a mentoring operation that aims to enhance youth in three areas: spiritual development, education development and social development.
As part of the program, the transcenders attend church gatherings and training sessions on topics such as gang awareness and drug and alcohol prevention.
As the educational component, the directors monitor the mentees’ academic performance and step in to identify tutoring resources or to enroll the students in tutoring, Bell said.
On the social end, the mentees learn about an array of topics from relationships to managing finances.
“We’re trying to have well-rounded gentlemen when they become adults …,” Bell said. “It’s just exposing them to a variety of things as far as our social development goes.
“Even though we have special training events, the most important thing is that one-on-one interaction between the mentee and the mentor,” Bell said, adding that community support is a vital component to the program.
To learn more about the program or become involved, contact Bell at 368-3704 or any other director of the Eleven Black Men of Liberty County.