Men help develop young minds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

COFIELD – Most men can make a difference.

This is the theme of Mostmen Mostmen Inc., a non- profit organization that mentors male youth, ages 7-15, and is founded and directed by Hillary Edwards, Jr.

Mostmen Mostmen celebrated the opening of its Male Empowerment Educational Center on July 16.

Congressman G.K. Butterfield was the guest speaker and Senator Ed Jones was also in attendance.

Giff Daughridge from Nucor Steel was at the opening, as well.

All three individuals pledged to help the organization in any way that they could.

“When I see men and women get together, not for profit, not for fortune and fame, but when men and women get together with an idea to try to reach out to help our children, it really makes my day,” said Butterfield.

“And it really makes my day when the corporate community is willing to partner with people in the community to reach our children.”

“We’ve got to help our future, the generations to follow, so we can all make a difference,” said Jones.

“At Nucor, it’s important to us to be a part of the community; it’s very important to us– the responsibility to the community where we exist and where our plants are,” said Daughridge.

Edwards said that Nucor has already been a big help already.

Edwards moved to Cofield seven years ago and saw that the kids were really good but had no safe place or direction.

He also noticed such severe social issues as gang activity, high school drop-out rates, teenage pregnancy and juvenile delinquency.

Edwards wanted to reach out and help, so in July 2005 he founded the group Mostmen Mostmen, Inc.

This stands for Mighty Men Of Spiritual Standard Teaching Together Encouraging Empowerment Navigating into Newness.

According to Edwards, the center is a place where male youth can come to a safe environment and learn developmental skills that will help them transition into adulthood.

The program is pro-active; its purpose it to help the kids before they get into trouble.

Edwards said he has never asked a kid to join the program; they have always come to him first.

He said he, the parents and child come up with weekly goal sheets for the child.

Once he has competed all of his goals, he can then participate in fun activities.

Edwards also said that 90 percent of the boys in the program have no male role model at home and they need male guidance.

The children learn developmental skills in every area.

They learn how to cook, about personal health, small engine repairs, gardening, ironing and basic plumbing.

There are also computer rooms at the center where they can learn computer skills.

Edwards said that the boys usually meet two or three times a week at the center.

“This center is a resource for the kids,” he said. “We are trying to give them the tools to be successful in life and to empower them to be the number one participants in their development.”

Edwards currently has a board of six members and four male mentors.

Currently, 25 boys come to the center.

He stressed the need for more male mentors.

When he started the group, Edwards funded it himself.

Recently it became a Public Charity.

He said that the backing of the community has been wonderful and he encourages people to continue their support and efforts.

According to Edwards, currently, gang activity in Cofield is basically non-existent in the 7-15 age bracket.