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Greensboro organization offers free education-based program to teach young men important life skills

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sometimes it’s hard for students to see beyond high school. But a non-profit organization has set out to help them do just that by helping them set goals, form relationships with positive role models and learn important life skills.

Two Saturdays each month, you’ll find fellowship, workshops and basketball at Providence Baptist Church in Greensboro. The group also takes field trips.

“I don't think I'm ready for life," said participant Christian Brown, a 10th grader. “And when I go here, they teach me stuff I need to know about life so I can be prepared for it as much as possible.”

The organization is called “Crossroads: Pathways to Success” and is possible thanks in part to support from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. It offers a free education-based program for young Guilford County males that goes beyond the classroom.

“A formal education is great and it's a foundation for building out your academic career,” said co-founder Arturo Mckie. “But there's so many other life skills that you need to actually be successful.”

Mckie and fellow co-founder Gerard Truesdale hope by introducing these students to role models including Guilford County Judge Lora Cubbage, they'll set goals for themselves beyond high school.

“What they'll get from coming to Crossroads is seeing real-life examples of how to be a better man, how to be a better student.” Said Truesdale. “They’ll learn how to be prepared—not only for college but life skills they may not necessarily learn at home or school.”

Since 2009, 116 students have gone through the program: 95 have gone on to college and 11 landed jobs right out of high school.

Jeremiah Mann is one of those success stories. He is still involved in the organization today because he wants to help these students to learn the important lesson he learned through the program

“They’re worth more than their circumstances or their situations or where they come from,” said Mann. “They have a lot more to offer or bring to the table than people may have made them believe in the past. And they`re going to change the world.”

Crossroads: Pathways to Success mostly recruits the young men through Guilford County Schools, social media and word of mouth. To learn more about the organization, check out its website.