Group in need of sponsors for college tour


Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.

Men of Honor United is in need of sponsors to help the boys and teens it serves to tour colleges in Tallahassee.

Facts

MEN OF HONOR

What: Men of Honor United, a mentoring group for boys and teens ages 5-17.
When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-3 p.m. Saturdays.
Where: T.B. McPherson Recreation Center, 1717 SE 15th St.
Miscellaneous: No cost to join; enrollment open year-round.
Information: Call 352-870-3787, 352-642-4478 or email menofhonor@hotmail.com.

The group is dedicated to enriching the lives of boys and teens ages 5-17 through tutoring, motivational workshops and other activities and by exposing them to things outside of their community. It was founded in 2010 by Jasmine Gordon, a parent coordinator at Gainesville Home Instruction of Parents of Preschool Youngsters, or HIPPY. There is no cost associated with joining and enrollment is open throughout the year.

The Men of Honor College Enrichment Tour scheduled for May 25-26 will visit Florida A&M University and Florida State University, both in Tallahassee.

Gordon said the group has 14 members, with six active members going on the trip. She said the group needs assistance with food, gas, hotel accommodations for up to two nights and a visit to a museum or other cultural site in Tallahassee. Prospective sponsors can mail their donations made payable to Men of Honor United to Men of Honor, 4000 SW 47th St., Lot H22, Gainesville, FL 32608.

"We want to take the young men on this tour to expose them to colleges and to show them something different," said Gordon. "This will be our first college tour with them and we are hoping they come away with a stronger desire to do well in school and we also hope that some of them who might not be interested in going to college will become interested in going to college."

President Derrick Alston of Gainesville said the group meets at different locations, but primarily at the T.B. McPherson Recreation Center at 1717 SE 15th St. from either 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Alston said the group has toured the Alachua County jail to show its members what life is like behind bars in order to discourage them from a life of crime.

"We also tutor them, teach them how to speak properly in public and the importance of having structure in their lives," he said.

In addition to the college tour, upcoming events will include a visit to Kanapaha Memorial Park in southwest Gainesville on June 15, an arts and crafts day on June 29 at Smokey Bear Park in northeast Gainesville, and an ice cream celebration on July 13 at Westside Park in northwest Gainesville.

Gordon said God gave her the vision for the group in 2008, but she didn't start it until 2010.

"I've always loved young people, but God personally told me to start Men of Honor and to focus on young men in order to empower them and encourage them to accomplish their dreams," she said.

Gordon said the group wants to have a bigger impact on its members' lives by having them shadow men in the community on their jobs. She believes that giving group members a chance to see men who look like them succeeding in careers will help them to realize they can be successful as well.

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