By writer to www.loudountimes.com
As a trainer at another highschool, Leesburg resident Doode Summers is nicely conscious of the struggles dealing with at-risk teen boys.
She has all the time wished to begin her personal nonprofit specializing in boys ages 13 via 18 to assist information them via the highschool years and to in the end scale back homelessness.
Final fall, after discussions with household and associates and native officers who inspired her, together with Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk, she determined the time was proper, and he or she pulled collectively a workforce to help with the mission. In November, Summers launched the Younger Kings Motion, a bunch that meets twice per week on the Douglass Group Middle on East Market Avenue in Leesburg.
At first, she didn’t know what sort of response the group would obtain, particularly throughout a pandemic. Nevertheless, the turnout on the conferences has already exceeded expectations, and the group has rapidly grown from six to 25.
The boys come from throughout Loudoun County and past.
“He by no means misses a gathering,” Summers stated of 1 child from Annandale. “His mom instructed me – he simply wants one thing. He has despair and he desires to be right here. We choose him up, we make it work.”
Summers has been impressed to offer again to the neighborhood for a few years. Twenty-two years in the past, her sister saved her life via a kidney donation, and he or she has all the time wished to do one thing to offer again.
“These boys have a particular place in my coronary heart – they appear to get seemed over. My important focus is working with troubled youth with habits and psychological well being conditions. I find it irresistible. They simply have a nasty rap and they’re the best youngsters on the planet,” she stated.
Summers stated she goals to assist boys of all colour – Black, Hispanic and whites. To date, there’s a mixture of cultures within the group, which is what she wished.
“We’re about brotherhood and we combine up the teams to speak and get to know others. We all the time inform them to say one thing constructive to one another,” she stated.
Funding for the nonprofit to date has come from her personal pocket and donations and assist from native companies. She tearfully describes how the boys arrive hungry at every assembly.
“The very first thing they are saying is do you’ve something to eat. I can inform they’ve been out all day lengthy – many with no coats. They trip their bikes to get right here. I feel they notice it is a protected area they usually get to eat,” she stated.
The group actions have developed to satisfy the wants of the boys, who’re searching for assist in faculty in addition to mentoring for jobs.
“The older boys would not have a job or a automobile or IDs – they need assistance. Now we have began searching for internships and neighborhood service tasks for them,” she stated.
Summers is planning an occasion in March to show the boys about the best way to current themselves, particularly within the office. She is gathering fits for everybody to put on and they’re going to gown up and have a particular dinner to study social etiquette.
“I need them to be ok with themselves,” she stated.
Her purpose is to assist cease homelessness at an early age. She has been working with Cell Hope, a nonprofit that has an identical mission for younger adults.
“They’re right here as a result of they wish to be right here. We would like this to develop. Our purpose is to do a summer season mission so all of them have jobs or internships,” she stated.
Summers says she is searching for monetary donations in addition to computer systems and companies who could also be taken with working collectively.
“Something we will do to assist them. They need it. They wish to succeed,” she stated.
— to www.loudountimes.com