ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A St. Louis educator’s mission to help address juvenile delinquency in St. Louis has developed into a mentoring program.
Charlie Bean, dropout recruiter for the St. Louis Public Schools and founder of “Mentoring 1-2-3,” started the mentoring program after seeing a continuous need amongst young males in St. Louis’ most challenged neighborhoods. The concept of the program evolves around teaching life skills and becoming a productive member of society.
“Mentoring 1-2-3 is a mentoring program to build our young males into successful leaders,” Bean explained. “Part of the program is to get positive mentors to come in and volunteer some time to spend with young guys from the urban neighborhoods.”
Bean said he aims to have successful mentors that were once in the same predicament as his mentees – those who struggled with troubles in their neighborhoods, peer pressure, or who simply need a positive male role model to look up to. The program aims to teach participants life skills such as banking and self-respect.
Keon Williams, a mentee and a student in Bean’s dropout program, said he saw Mentoring 1-2-3 as something that would be beneficial to him. Williams and his siblings recently lost their mother, who died this past July. During that time, Williams said that Bean was a pivotal person in helping him to cope with the loss, as well as teaching him the importance of “stepping up.”
“When I first got here, I didn’t like [Mr. Bean] one bit,” Williams said. “But as the school year progressed, I grew attached to him. He taught me about stepping up to the plate and taking care of my younger brothers.”
Bean said that overall, his mentoring program will be one that provides a positive outlet for participants to help keep them off the streets.
“Everybody that I have on staff [so far] and the kids are all dedicated to this program,” Bean said. “We are all ready for a change.”
Interested mentors or mentees can attend the program’s first session on September 1. Contact Charlie Bean at (314) 562-5407 for more information.
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