Mentoring group for young men launches today

Published 2:40 am Saturday, January 12, 2019

After her success with the South Alabama Youth Career Conference last year, Michelle Bonam is launching the South Alabama Young Men’s Association.

“This will be a mentorship program that we have started,” Bonam said. “We want to be able to give young men a little guidance and counseling. We want to do some tutoring with them. Maybe take them on some different field trips, we just want to do a lot of things.”


Bonam wants to hold the group accountable at the school level as well.

“We also want to do accountability with them,” Bonam said. “Where they could turn in their grades every nine weeks. We are going to check behavior to make sure we are getting positive behavior from the young men. There is a lot we are going to do, but we are also going to reward them if they are doing the right things.”

She said that the group is open to any young man who needs to be mentored.

“We aren’t going to discriminate,” Bonam said. “It is open for any young man eight years and older. Any young man that needs to be mentored or motivated is definitely invited.”

Kimberly Staley, Glenn Samuel, Joshua Coleman and Charles Wilkerson will be the mentors for the young men.

“We are going to have several more people and guest speakers,” Bonam said. “Those are just the main group of mentors.”

Bonam said that by doing the South Alabama Youth Conference every year, she sees that there is a lack of mentorship for young men.

“I have noticed that there are a lot of mentor groups for young ladies,” Bonam said. “But nobody creates anything for the men. We have always been told that men are supposed to be the strong individual for a household, so I want to make sure that they are getting everything that they need to be able to reach their maximum potential.”

The program is completely free, because Bonam said she doesn’t want to put any stress on the parents.

“I don’t want the parents to spend a dime out of their pockets,” Bonam said. “Hopefully we will be able to get sponsors and we will do some fundraising, of course, so the parents won’t have to pay anything.”

Bonam said the thing she is looking forward to the most about the program is seeing the success rate of the young men.

“I want the young men to be able to come back and say this program is what helped me or this program is what boosted me up,” Bonam said. “So I am really looking forward to the success rate of it. I hope that we fill the place up with young men.”

The first interest meeting for the group will be today, Sat., Jan. 12, at 11 a.m., at the Coleman Center.

For more information, contact Bonam at 334-669-0465.