Over the past three years, a strong partnership has been built in east Charlotte between young people and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers.
Each Wednesday night, more than a dozen Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers meet with young people from the Promise Youth Development.
Wednesday, Promise Youth Development, mentors and CMPD officers celebrated an early Christmas.
The evening included a full meal, gifts for the kids, dancing and a lot of grateful words to the CMPD officers who have helped mentor the kids over the last three years.
“It’s about the kids. Our partnership with CMPD has been an incredible gift to the children in our program,” Tesha Boyd, Promise Youth Development founder and executive director, said.
There was no doubt about how instrumental the program has been for 10-year-old mentee Madison Griffin.
“The (mentors) just do it because they want to do it,” she said.
Promise Youth Development is a nonprofit organization that works with kids ages 6-18. Its mission is preparing them for success in real life.
Members take field trips, hear from guest speakers about issues like gangs and drugs, discuss career options and work on fitness goals.
The strong partnership with CMPD and other community stakeholders allows youth to be exposed to new experiences and fosters trusting relationships.
“We use a holistic approach to health promotion despite the existing social determinants of health,” Boyd said.
Mentoring gives youth someone who is going to be there for them and someone they can count on when everything else may be falling apart around them.
A valuable resource in Charlotte for the mentoring community is the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance. The alliance educates mentoring organizations about best practices and mentoring standards, ignites impactful and enduring mentor-mentee relationships and connects Charlotte’s mentoring community.
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