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Hampton Roads Community News

Free Event On May 23 – Mentoring Program Supports Boys Into Manhood

Yes, it takes a village and The Daddyman Project aims to accomplish that feat on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Green Run High School in Virginia Beach.

The free event is sponsored by Gentleman Making A Change, a mentoring group that has served over 600 male students since it was launched in Virginia Beach 11 years ago. Seko Varner is the coordinator of Gentleman Making A Change.

When the event starts, on May 23, three male students will introduce the keynote speakers: two authors and a coach.

Author Bobby Huntley will discuss his 2014 book, “Mothers, Please,” an 85-page self-help book that argues a single mother cannot teach a boy how to be a man. Author Eddie Howard will discuss, “Still Convicted,” a 156-page book that describes Howard’s descent into addiction and ascent into 18 years of sobriety. Coach Cadillac Harris, the assistant football coach at Indian River High, will discuss the village. Harris says the village is comprised of educators, parents, and relatives who guide by setting positive examples.

Huntley said he looks forward to participating in the event. Several mothers urged him to write his book, Mothers, Please. I want to help mothers be “boys instead of inmates,” he said.
“In my book, I list eight mistakes that mothers make in raising their sons,” Huntley said. “The No. 1 mistake that single mothers make is telling a son in a single-parent home that he is the only man in the house. But that does not make him a man. That puts too much pressure on that boy because he does not have the maturity to be a man.”

Another person who is looking forward to the event is Tiniki Riddick, who has two sons, ages 16 and 21.

“I attended the program last year and truly enjoyed it,” Riddick said. “I walked away understanding how I could improve my relationships. To me, last year’s program helped me see there is light at the end of the tunnel. It was a blessing to me as a single mother.”

Riddick added, “When I got home I tried to be cautious of putting too much responsibility on my son to be the absent man in the house. Now I try to be cautious of how I handle being a mother.”

Seko Varner, coordinator of Gentleman Making A Change, said, “These programs have helped our students make some positive changes in their life but the missing piece has been their parents,” Varner said. “This program focuses on young men and their parents. We give them information that will help them become better men.”

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By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor

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