Thanks to mentors

Published 9:19 pm Friday, May 26, 2017

A group of fraternity graduates in Suffolk and other groups they have partnered with are doing their part to alleviate a situation in our society that does grievous harm to our young men and our communities.

Unfortunately, many young men across America lack positive male role models in their lives. This hole in our society happens for a variety of reasons, and the causes are multi-faceted. Healing this wound will take time.

In the meantime, the local alumni chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Iota, sponsors a program called the Golden Fold to mentor young men ages 13 to 18.

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The young men learn and practice positive skills such as leadership qualities, community service and more through the program.

Recently, the fraternity partnered with the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. for an open conversation about treating women with respect.

The conversation centered on the theme “how to R.E.A.C.H. women in 2017 and beyond.” The acronym stood for respect, effort and empathy, attention, chivalry and honesty.

The young men were advised on basics like holding the door for women as well as the nuances of relationships, such as handling rejection.

One young man, 16-year-old Nansemond River High School junior Lamond Johnson-Taylor, appreciated the lessons.

“It’s prepared me for the reality of life,” he said. “It’s teaching me to stand up, be mature and make more adult decisions.”

The men and women who took their time to mentor these young men didn’t have to do so. They have families, careers and hobbies that all demand their attention as well. But they do it because they know what they are doing will have an immeasurable impact on these young men and the community at large.

It potentially takes only one caring adult to turn a young person’s life around and help show them to a productive life path. We applaud these adults who are becoming these caring adults to the members of the Golden Fold.