Foundation to honor Green

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

The principal of John Yeates Middle School will be the honoree at an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day benefit brunch later this month.

Shawn Green will be given the Community Leadership Award by the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation during the event on Jan. 16.

“I was actually very surprised,” Green said of the honor. “I do what I can for the young people in the community, whether it be through work, through my fraternity, or whether it’s just kind of being that big brother or father figure to somebody who needs some encouragement.”

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Green was nominated for the honor by one of the guidance counselors at John Yeates.

“Mr. Green does so many things for kids,” said Sabrina Turner. “He motivates them. He empowers them. He just has a special way with making a difference with the youth.”

Green said he doesn’t see what he does as anything different.

“I really don’t look at it as being anything significant,” he said. “I just look at it as me doing my part.”

He said he is inspired by those who mentored him and his peers when he was young.

“Growing up, we had people who would be willing to sit down and talk to us about life — share some of their stories — so me and my brother and my friends wouldn’t go down the same road as them and make some of the same mistakes,” he said.

“Growing up, I always had someone that kind of played that role, so it’s almost as if it’s expected of me. Now that I’m an adult, I need to pass that along.”

Green serves as a mentor for the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe, a National Guard program for troubled youth based in Virginia Beach. He volunteers for the Oasis homeless feeding in Portsmouth. He participates in March of Dimes. His fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, also participates in several projects such as adopt-a-spot cleanups and school supply drives.

“I just feel like it’s me doing my part in the community,” he said. “I’m a true believer in ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’”

Green was assistant principal at John Yeates for nine years before leaving to be assistant principal at King’s Fork High School for a year. He then returned to John Yeates as principal this year.

He said he works hard to motivate young people to stay on the right track.

“When I see that they are getting off track — some that don’t have necessarily the strongest home situation — I encourage them to continue to strive for and do well,” he said. “Education creates opportunity.”

Turner said Green is constantly encouraging to the staff and students at John Yeates.

“He’s the type of principal that he finds different ways to make a difference and to make an impact with the staff and students,” she said.

Recently, the school held a fundraiser for a student in need of a heart transplant.

“It really made a difference in the atmosphere of the school and the kids coming together, as well as the staff,” Turner said. “It’s such a beautiful effort to teach kids empathy. He just does so many things.”

Green will accept the award Jan. 16 during the third annual MLK Day Benefit Brunch by the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation.

The guest speaker for the event will be Aminah M. Collick, assistant regional counsel for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta.

The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Harbour View, 5921 Harbour View Blvd.

Tickets are $50. More information and tickets are available at