What options are there to provide good male role models for children who don't have a father in their lives?
Stevie Mosley grew up in Meridian, just like a lot of boys and girls in today, without a father in his life. But it didn't stop him from succeeding. He says there are two reasons for that, his strong mother and strong men who were willing to mentor him.
"We had community fathers, coaches, basketball and football coaches, teachers, mentors in the community," said Mosley. "And I believe that it's not broken. We should go back to some of those ways."
And that's exactly what why Mosley started the group Men for Change several years ago. The idea is simply being there for kids who don't have dads.
One of things members of this group do is show up every day after school outside Carver Middle School to help children cross 8th Street safely and occasionally even break up a fight.
"We truly believe that if men would become active in the lives of the young men in our community, then we would be able to stop some of the things that we're experiencing in Meridian, Mississippi," Mosley said.
Mosley's ideas are getting some traction. He'll soon be getting the help of a new program at a local church. It's called Little Men and it's just getting started right now, under the guidance of Phillip Price.
"Really we want to tell them about Jesus," said Price. "But we have an opportunity for one-on-one relationship, man for every boy, to be able to teach them to be a man as we teach them about Christ."
The program will get started in the fall at 15th Avenue Baptist Church in Meridian.
Price says the group is seeking to identify boys in 1st through 5th grades who need to be mentored, and for men who are willing to mentor, even on a part-time basis.
"What the last couple of weeks have just impressed on me is that I do have a responsibility for my community," said Price.
Mosley is excited about the project. Men for Change and Little Men will be working together to get it off the ground.
"We're excited about the fact that someone else in the community is stepping up and being in the lives of these men in the city of Meridian," said Mosley.
And the hope is not just to be in their lives but to change them for the better.
If you want more information about the groups so you can work as a mentor or possibly fill out an application for a child, click the attached links.