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Effort seeks mentors for young males

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Helen Blocker-Adams met with media and community partners Wednesday about filling the void of father figures in the lives of Richmond County's young males.

Mrs. Blocker-Adams, a talk show host on WNRR-AM 1230, said she was disturbed after reading in The Augusta Chronicle that juvenile crime has increased 23 percent in the past three months, compared to the same time last year. That should be a wake-up call to Augusta, she said.

"Juvenile crime is just off the Richter scale," she told a crowd in front of the Waffle House on Gordon Highway on Wednesday. "We have to find some surrogate fathers for these young males because a lot them don't have one."

She and Escubar Moore, the district manager of three Augusta Waffle House restaurants, will sponsor the Back to School Men's Drive for Kids, a campaign to recruit positive male role models for Augusta's male youth.

By July 27, Mrs. Blocker-Adams and Mr. Moore hope to sign up 250 men to volunteer with local mentoring agencies: Dads in Action, An Ounce of Prevention and Full Circle Refuge Juvenile Justice Ministry.

Mr. Moore said men can sign up at Waffle House locations on Gordon Highway, Deans Bridge Road and Wrightsboro Road. The men are asked to give one hour a week with one of the three mentoring agencies. About 75 men had signed up to volunteer as of Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Moore said.

"I hope we blow that number away and have even more," he said. "That 250 hours per week can make a whole lot of difference in our community."

Devon Harris, the executive director of the Full Circle Refuge Juvenile Justice Ministry, has worked with troubled youth for several years. He said the statistics are not surprising. A positive male in the lives of some of the young men in his program could make a difference in their lives and have an impact on the community, Mr. Harris said.

"We want to think it's somebody else's problem or the government's problem, but we have to plant the seed," he said. "These young men are looking for guidance. They want someone to invest in their lives."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

WANT TO HELP?

To sign up for the Back to School Men's Drive for Kids, visit the Waffle House locations at 1629 Gordon Highway, 3417 Wrightsboro Road or 3190 Deans Bridge Road or contact Helen Blocker-Adams at (706) 267-0579 or Escubar Moore at (706) 495-6637.

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FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 07/16/09 - 01:54 am
0
0
Last time I talked to her

Last time I talked to her about this problem of rising crime several years ago, she didn't respond, left me, went to the front of the public meeting and told everyone that she wasn't listening to anyone say anything negative about South Augusta. The person who invited me to the occasion observed this and could not believe she did that! I had told her that she would react like that, as she had the other times I had spoken with her and my friend had encouraged me to try again, so was stunned that she didn't accept what I had to say. I didn't give up though, there is too much at stake - our young people. I'm glad Ms. Blocker-Adams is finally acknowledging the problem. Denying a problem exists doesn't solve it and gives the problem room to expand exponentially. It may be that she can be a good spokesperson to encourage good men to mentor these young people in the high risk category. I hope so, we've lost a lot of young people since I talked to her last. Every day, there is another horror story in the CSRA. We need more people like Helen-Blocker Adams. She's got what it takes to make a difference and I'm glad she has come forward to do so.

HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 07/16/09 - 02:05 am
0
0
Baroness.. I think you have

Baroness.. I think you have really hit the nail on the head with this post. I was not privy to your interaction with Ms Blocker-Adams, but I think one of the main problems with south Augusta is that people there would rather bury their heads in the sand and complain about ppl saying negative things about South Augusta instead of being honest that these problems do exist and are getting worse. If you ignore the problem, it will not go away.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/16/09 - 03:28 am
0
0
Baroness and HillGuy are

Baroness and HillGuy are correct. Now, if you're tired of just complaining about and want to help solve the problem of delinquency among our juveniles, call 706-231-8660, go to the DADS IN ACTION Facebook page or e-mail DIA at "DADS_IN_ACTION@yahoo.com. DIA's mission is MAKING Richmond County SCHOOLS BETTER. We are looking for a few MORE GOOD MEN.

Riverman1
79710
Points
Riverman1 07/16/09 - 06:54 am
0
0
Dr. Mac Bowman, the black

Dr. Mac Bowman, the black Chief of Cardiology, at University Hosp. used (maybe still does) to mentor two young men every Saturday. They stayed with him all day even when he went into the hospital. They wore ties and you could just SEE the positive influence rubbing off on these young guys. We need more black mentors like Mac Bowman.

Honest Broker
0
Points
Honest Broker 07/16/09 - 08:23 am
0
0
Let's hope Helen is real and

Let's hope Helen is real and not another one of her short lived
get some glory stunts.

Lumbarsupport
0
Points
Lumbarsupport 07/16/09 - 09:26 am
0
0
How about thier FATHER be

How about thier FATHER be their mentor? Maybe an UNCLE? No, that would be too much effort to expend wouldn't it. I guess that works for the first two or three illigetimate kids you have, but after that they are on their own. Until people start taking care of their own children things are going to continue to get worse, the rest of us are tired of having to do it, and/or deal with the predators and leeches that you release out into our world.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/16/09 - 09:52 am
0
0
Honest Broker, Helen is "for

Honest Broker, Helen is "for real," not publicity-motivated. She does much more to improve our community than does one who writes a derogatory post about someone who wants to make Augusta a better place.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 07/16/09 - 09:54 am
0
0
40% of all babies born in the

40% of all babies born in the US today are illegitimate, FallsChurch.

wise ole man
79
Points
wise ole man 07/16/09 - 10:06 am
0
0
Babies are not illegitimate-

Babies are not illegitimate- parents are. The babies do not chose to be born to women/children who not married, to sperm donors who do not participate in the child' s life and into houses where morals, education and a proper upbrining are part of their life. These 3 principles need to be intilled in our youth today so they can become the leaders of tomorrow and not criminals. I've met Mr. Harris and he has wonderful ideas but he needs mentors who can relate to these troubled teens and inturn the teens can relate to the mentor. We need to change the concept of who our children idolize- the gang-member thugs- and let them see that a productive life is far greater than a life of crime.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 07/16/09 - 10:18 am
0
0
You said it correctly wise

You said it correctly wise ole man! It's attitudes like FallsChurch that is so sad. These young boys are the ones who suffer due to bad decisions their parents make. Why would you not want to help break the disfunctional cycle and help these children become responsible, productive, adults?

LCC0256
618
Points
LCC0256 07/16/09 - 04:00 pm
0
0
Ms Blocker Adams is trying to

Ms Blocker Adams is trying to DO SOMETHING POSITIVE about a terrible situation. We all know how the problem was started (US GIVErnMEnt Welfare system) but she is doing what she can to help deal with these horrible results... I think this lady is an asset to this community & should be supported in every way possible. She seems to always be trying to educate & help others. Great job Ms Blocker-Adams you act out your Christian faith.

What4
0
Points
What4 07/16/09 - 04:46 pm
0
0
Let's pair them up with some

Let's pair them up with some real criminals!!

Lumbarsupport
0
Points
Lumbarsupport 07/16/09 - 09:04 pm
0
0
I know where babies come

I know where babies come from, and have prevented their arrival for over 50 years, why can't they?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 07/16/09 - 09:20 pm
0
0
Helen is a great person. We

Helen is a great person. We were at odds with her on the SPLOST issue, but she was the only one to come forward in an honest debate. I've spent time with her in my volunteer work, and I will contact her on this issue. Put your time where your keyboard is and help, or at least get out of the way!

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