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'A pathway toward success': 250 boys graduate from after-school mentor program

After hearing from the community, Dr. Verna Cornelia Price and her husband, Shane Price, started an after-school mentor program for boys in 2012.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Children face more challenges than ever before when it comes to balancing academics, their social lives and their situations at home. That's why the Power of the People Leadership Institute is invested in getting kids set on the right path. 

On Tuesday, 250 boys graduated from the institute's Boys of Hope program, which reaches eight schools with 14 different groups of boys, ranging in age from middle to high school. 

"You will notice that 98% of our boys are brown and Black boys," Dr. Verna Cornelia Price said. 

Price and her husband, Shane, started the Power of People Leadership Institute in 2007. Since then, it's helped thousands through its programs, including prison inmates actively working to reform their lives.

"We know that the media and some of the images and stories around brown and Black boys is pretty negative." Cornelia Price said, "and we want to make sure we are a part of the story of changing the narrative."

Andrew Emelife is one of the seniors in the program. He was awarded a $1,000 scholarship but says he gained much more than financial help along the way.

"I will say it has helped me connect with others — connect with people to look up to," he said. 

Each boy in the program is assigned a mentor, and for Tyler Spivey, his mentor helped change his life. 

"My mentor, Mr. Ryan, he helped me out a lot. See, when I didn't have clothes to wear here, he would go buy me a whole button-up, some church pants and church shoes," he said. "I thank him a lot for that."

If you would like to get involved in the mentorship program, click here for more information on the Power of the People Leadership Institute.


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