‘Brunch with Brothers’ aims to mentor young men in Lufkin community

Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A Deep East Texas organization seeks to reach out and provide mentorship to the youth in the community.

During the weekdays, you can find freshman Kedren Young in classes or on the playing fields at Lufkin High, but on Saturdays, he’s gaining even more knowledge and skills from his mentors, which he says is needed.

“A lot,” Young said. A lot of negative. I think people need some positivity in their lives, so it’s pretty good.”

Young is one of more than 30 students who participated in the second “Brunch with Brothers” Saturday at the VFW Post in Lufkin. It’s a mentorship program aimed to help young men in the community around age 12 and older.

The event is put on by Embrace It, a nonprofit organization in Lufkin started by Calvasha Summers and some of her friends and family.

“They told us stories about their lifestyles when they were little and their backstories. What led them up to their jobs right now. I learned about school. Making bad grades is not cool. It’s very important,” Young said.

“We’re focusing on getting to know them as individuals not trying to judge them, not trying to pre-assume what their past is or what they’re going through,” said Lufkin High School coach SaDale Lamb said. “Some of the questions we ask is to get them engaged in conversation because some of them don’t have anyone to open up to.”

“We have a community where a lot of our young individuals follow each other, and they’re just learning on the fly,” Lamb said. “A lot of mistakes are being made that could be prevented if older men would step in and try to assist them instead of judging them.”

Lufkin native Robert Murphy traveled from the Houston area to help.

“I had programs like this when I was a kid here in Lufkin,” Murphy said. “Coming up, I was a kid from a single-parent household. I was in and out of the streets in trouble. So, I think it’s important to have some positive role models to come in and pour some positive energy into these kids. To give them the tools they need and toolbox to be able to use on down the road.”

“I’m kind of in the situation everybody else is in,” Young said. “They start to give up. Just because you have stuff going on at home, doesn’t mean you should give up on everything.”

The program is open to boys ages 12 and older. To learn more about the program, contact Calvasha Summers at info@embraceit2020.org.

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