Frost Illustrated Staff Report
On May 23, Pastor Carlton Lynch and New Beginnings Church announced plans for a program designed to mentor 10 to 15 troubled teenagers and to expose them to possibilities other than street life. The program—entitled I’M HOOD (I’m Helping Others Obtain Destiny mentoring program)—is designed to help young people find their way to positive activities and life paths before they run into trouble.
“The goal is to become proactive rather than reactive. This program will challenge these teens to see life different,” said Pastor Lynch.
Lynch and church members passed out I’M HOOD packets to media and others present to show all the great things that they say will happen during this summer such as a trip to Atlanta to visit Tyler Perry Studios and Morehouse College and to Chicago to walk the streets where more than 547 young people were killed by gun violence in one year and much more. Program supporters also released balloons during the press conference announcing the program as a symbol of releasing these young men into their destiny.
Lynch said for this summer program to run effectively, it has been budgeted to cost between $11,000 to $13,000 dollars. He said John Garcia, owner of Summit City Chevrolet, will lead this grassroots financial campaign with a check for $1,000 to the I’M HOOD mentoring program.
Pastor Lynch said other businesses, such as O’Daniel Auto, Bob Mutton Party and Tent Rental, Mutton Power Equipment, Preferred Automotive Group and other westside businesses have been contacted to give to this endeavor. He said some had already committed prior to the May 23 public announcement.
“Our goal is to raise the budget in 10 days with a grassroots effort, focusing on getting a lot of people to give a little to help change the lives of these young people,” said Lynch in a press statement.
In addition to adults, several young men who have been selected to be a part of the summer program were at the press conference. Lynch shared their applications with the media to make the public aware that the youth whom the community would be supporting through funding, are youth who have been expelled from school, spent time in the Allen County Juvenile Center, been dealing drugs, been involved in violent crimes and other activities from which they need to be delivered.
Also invited as guests were Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York; Judge Charles Pratt of Allen County Family Court; Joe Jordan, executive director of the Fort Wayne Boys and Girls Club; Dr. Isaac Culver, president of the Baptist Convention; Pastor Anthony R. Pettus of Greater Progressive Baptist Church; Rick Stevenson, Wayne Township trustee; Pastor David Keller of Abundant Life Church, Roger Reese of Associated Churches of Allen County.
For more information, call Pastor Carlton Lynch at (260) 266-4142.
This article originally appeared in the May 29, 2013 print edition.