Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell and the leaders of Concerned Black Men, (CBM), a national organization, hosted the sheriff’s “Teen Dialogue Back to School” program on Sept. 12 at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles.
The event for 25 middle school students ages 11 to 14 was held to challenge and inspire the students to graduate from high school and pursue college and careers.
“My father would often say, ‘education is the great equalizer.’ His words inspired me when I was the same age as [the] youth at our back to school event,” McDonnell said. “Education opens doors and opportunities, which is why the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is committed to help these students make good decisions.”
The sheriff was joined by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Black Peace Officers Association; NBC president and general manager Steve Carlston; and consumer investigator Randy Mac. After a roundtable discussion, the youths received backpacks filled with educational supplies donated by the sheriff’s department including notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers and flash drives.
The CBM was founded in 1975 when five Philadelphia police officers sponsored social events for youth at risk of gang violence. Their vision was to fill the void of positive Black male role models by providing mentors and programs for academic and career enrichment. While the organization’s mission has expanded to include children and parents nationwide, the philosophy of men serving as positive role models to children remains the same. The sheriff’s department and the Black Peace Officers Association will participate in the CBM CARES program, which offers school-based mentoring for middle school youth.
For information, call Mark Anderson, president of the Los Angeles Chapter of CBM, at (323)868-0299, or visit www.cbmla.org.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.