HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The life of High Point community leader Hank Wall was celebrated by around 100 family members and friends Sunday.
A group gathered to remember the co-founder of Brothers Organized to Serve Others at Washington Terrace Park and Community Center in High Point. Wall was the executive director of the mentorship program for nearly 30 years.
Wall’s family was presented with a High Point proclamation, plaque and picture in honor of his service to the community. A dozen speakers shared stories about how Wall impacted their lives.
Wall passed away on March 5, due to complications from COVID-19.
He had dedicated his life to keeping young Black men out of trouble and leading them on a path of success. He would take them in and build up anyone who came to his doorstep. Several of Wall’s mentees went on to become doctors, lawyers and members of law enforcement. There were some who even turned into mentors for the next generation.
Wall was there for Greg Commander when he walked out of prison in 2008 after serving nearly 20 years.
“I didn’t have friends,” Commander said. “I didn’t have no one to talk to. Nobody understood my plight.”
Commander wanted to change his way of life.
“I represent those hardcores, those thugs. That’s me,” he said. “I just want to come back and tell them you don’t want to see the other side.”
Wall helped turn Commander from a convicted felon into a community leader.
BOTSO was Commander’s new outlet to make a difference in young Black men’s lives. He encouraged them with love and support to get on a path of success.
“Hank joined us,” Commander said. “He believed that what we was doing was very powerful and that it was going to take this to make a difference.”
Commander told FOX8 he expanded with programs of his own including Uniting Black Men and Commander Peace Academy. The organizations strive to reach young Black men who are on the streets. Commander said Wall’s guidance made the programs impactful.
“Hank was there to hold my hand, to show me what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to change and be an impact to my community, and it took me walking that walk and not just talking it.”
Commander wants to carry on Wall’s legacy.
“If you can better yourself now, better yourself,” Commander said. “If you can go to school, go to school. Anything to make a difference in your life, that’s the motto we believe in.”
High Point Parks and Recreation is honoring Wall with a special addition to the Washington Terrace Park and Community Center entrance where BOSTO regularly meets.