Founder: CHOICE was success

Published 7:09 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

Antwan Robinson says this summer’s CHOICE program went well, increasing attendance from the inaugural program last year and helping plenty of children on the road to success.

“None of my CHOICE children have been in trouble with the police,” he said. “It was beautiful, because we actually did what we were looking forward to doing.”

The camp met on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in July and August at the Salvation Army on Bank Street. About 147 children ages 4 to 17 received recreation, mentoring, food and more.

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The name of the program is an acronym that stands for Children Helping Other Individuals See Elevation.

Robinson said he was motivated to start the program because of his own past.

“I was a troubled teen,” he said. “I got to the point I needed a change, not just for me, but where I can help somebody else.”

Aiming toward making CHOICE a year-around program, Robinson has big plans for the month of October.

For “Senior October,” children from the program will be joining forces to help senior citizens with grass cutting, painting and other tasks they may not be able to do.

“What about the ones who don’t have anybody to do things for them?” Robinson said. “That means more to these seniors than anything.”

A senior banquet is planned for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17. It will include praise dances and sketches.

“We want to give back to the seniors and let them know they matter to us,” Robinson said. “It costs nothing. What we do is from our heart and from our love.”

Maurice Ellison, who helped with the program this year, said it teaches youth responsibility and keeps them off the streets.

“We want to be able to expand it,” he said. “I hope this works out.”

Robinson said he appreciates the sponsors of the program but is hoping for more sponsors and volunteers.

“I’m the founder of the program, but it’s not my program,” Robinson said. “I don’t look for credit. All I look for is help.”

For more information on the program or how to help, call 510-8939.