PHOENIX — Working to close the racial, economic and social gaps for the Black community, a Valley organization is focusing on African-American boys to set them up for a more successful future.
Fight 4 Life Manhood Training is a 12-week mentorship program for boys and teens ages 8 to 17 years old.
In a "big brother" format, the boys learn practical skills like health, wellness and martial arts. They're taught educational excellence through STEM workshops. Part of the program also includes hiking, camping and fishing field trips that take them out of their comfort zones and promote team building.
Guest speakers help open the boys up to possibilities through financial lessons that include how to save for college, buy a home, invest in stocks and entrepreneurship.
"Having a plan, a goal and a vision for your life, which is very important. The earlier you get started on that, the better chance you have to be successful," said co-founder Bilal Munir Rahim.
He says over the last five years, they've seen participants come out of their shells. Some have started their own businesses and have become more positive influences in their own homes for younger siblings.
"We're dealing with boys who have a hard time trusting and believing any adults. So when they see someone who looks like them, acts like them... that gives them that confidence, that extra boost that they need to try harder," said Munir Rahim.
The lessons are happening through video conference during the pandemic and they're following schools for guidance on getting back to in-person field trips. The financial training is open to the whole family and scholarships are an option.
Learn more by going to their website.