Part Three in a Six Part Blog Series on how YOU can ACT in BALTIMORE.
I’m sitting in my office on East Baltimore Street. Charges have just been handed down in the Freddie Gray case. My colleagues are leaving early due to expected traffic issues as the day goes on. There is excitement, and some trepidation, in the air. I need to head home to avoid traffic issues, but I need to post this more.
It’s interesting that I picked today to write about ACTS4YOUTH, an organization that Church of the Nativity partners with in Baltimore City that equips at-risk boys. Providential, really. I selected the six partners I would write about, and randomly assigned them an order. Today is about a partner that cares about, loves on and nurtures young men who are at-risk in Baltimore City.
What does it mean to be a young black man in Baltimore? Here’s a very sobering experiment. Google “young black men in Baltimore” and hit images. Take a look at what you see.
This is our image, the world’s image, of our young men. That should disturb us all.
Let’s be honest. I don’t know anything about this topic. I’m not black, I’m not male, and (sadly) I’m not young either. But I have eyes. We know that our sons and brothers are struggling. And we need to help.
ACTS4YOUTH partners with urban communities to equip at-risk boys with foundational character traits and life skills through after-school and summer academies to help them become good students, citizens, teammates and employees, while fostering successful progressions into middle school and high school.
Acts4Youth is one of, if not the only, Christian organization offering solutions to at risk boys through after school and summer academies that address academic, social, emotional, vocational and spiritual needs across elementary, middle and high school.
What’s so cool about A4Y is that it provides constructive activity and relationships in the downtime of a student’s day, with an after school and summer academy that teaches essential life skills.
It’s not just one aspect of the young man that they focus on, either. The academy is divided into three components: Academic, Teamwork/Citizenship and Vocational. It’s about learning, working, and building good relationships.
It’s about raising up a new generation of young men who know they are loved, and who then want to love others too.
Regardless of who you think is to blame for the current situation in Baltimore, we can all agree on this–we need good, solid organizations that are reaching into our City and building up our young men. A4Y is doing just that.
To donate to A4Y, click here.
To volunteer with A4Y, click here.
On Monday, check out part four of this six part series. Still to come: details of great organizations empowering Baltimore City school-aged girls; Baltimore City veterans transitioning through homelessness, poverty and addiction; and Baltimore City children who are victims of human sex trafficking.