PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Every once in a while a story comes along that we really like, and this is one of them. It's the story of four young men, high school seniors in Priceville, who decided to be mentors to some junior high school boys. The result was the Just For Boys Club, and the effect has been nothing but positive for everyone involved.
"It's a lot like having 30 extra best friends just walking around," says Priceville High School senior Jackson Morris, one of the originators of the Just For Boys Club. Inside classroom number 17 at Priceville Middle School Friday afternoon a club is meeting. They get together once a week and it's just for boys. There's no teacher, no adult supervision. Just four high school seniors who are mentoring a group of junior high school boys.
"They came up with the idea that they felt like that, you know, younger boys really needed someone to look up to. Not all of them have a dad at home or positive influences," says teacher Kim Morris. So Jackson Morris, Dustin Lorance, Aaron Edwards and Nathan Collier decided they could be that positive influence. They would try to make a difference in lives younger than their own.
"I love this club. Those are four great men in there, four Godly men, and they just teach us everything about life," 8th grade student Aubrey Richardson explained to WHNT News 19.
"Things like good manners and we go through kinda like simulations of things like what to do in this instance and that one," Tyler Shaneyfelt told us.
"We learned how to tie a tie, which most of us didn't know how to," Caleb Martin proclaims.
Something as simple as learning to tie a necktie can promote self-confidence in a young man. One small step along the pathway from adolenscence to manhood.
"We hope that we can be a positive influence on a younger generation because this time in their lives is when they're most impressionable, when they are formed into the people they will be for the rest of their lives," says high school senior Dustin Lorance.
"One of the things we try to stress here is the decisions you make right now can affect you for the rest of your live. So we just want to help them make the right decisions now so they can be, so they can grow up and hopefully do what we're doing right now when they're seniors in high school," says Jackson Morris.
Four young men who simply want to make a difference in the lives of even younger men by setting an example, a positive influence for their high school years ahead, and for life beyond school.
Teacher Kim Morris, who surrenders her classroom every Friday afternoon for the club meetings, says she allows them all the space they need because she knows the young boys will open up to each other much easier when there's not an adult watching over their shoulder. She says a number of the members's parents have told her the club is making a very positive difference in the lives and attitudes of the younger boys. As for next year after they've graduated, the seniors who started Just For Boys say they've already picked out four high school juniors who next year will take their place.
-- Al Whitaker