GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Donovan Withers’s future is bright. The North Carolina A&T State University student wants to become a designer.
He is a graduate of “Brothers Organized To Serve Others,” otherwise known as B.O.T.S.O. The nonprofit in Guilford County helps young black men build their futures.
“It just taught you how to carry yourself, what to do and what not to do in certain situations,” Withers said.
Male mentors teach six-to-18-year-olds everything from manners to social skills. Case manager Chiekah Wall says they also learn accountability to themselves and their community. “When you make up in your mind you’re going do the right thing and that’s what you’re going to do, it pays off.”
B.O.T.S.O. is a year-round program. Participants meet Monday nights at Washington Terrace Park Recreation Center in High Point. Thursdays they meet at Sharpe Road Church of Christ in Greensboro.
A big part of student success is having support at home. B.O.T.S.O. also offers resources for parents so they can stay involved in their children’s lives. “The whole mission is to simply build those positive relationships,” Dr. Sharon Hunter, the parent leader for B.O.T.S.O., said.
She says activities and workshops focused on mental health, communication, education and job opportunities help parents stay engaged and understand their child.
Support from the High Point Community Foundation allows B.O.T.S.O. to fund speakers, books and transportation to events. Most of all, it allows relationships to form that can change the course of a child’s life.
Donovan’s mother, Tonya Withers, says B.O.T.S.O. has had a lasting impact on her son. “We always say it takes a village to raise a child and it truly does. So having the male mentors involved in his life has been very beneficial.”
B.O.T.S.O. is always looking for mentors and students to get involved. You can learn more about programs, or make a donation on the group’s website.