KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A mentorship initiative has officially kicked off in Jackson County to give young offenders and at-risk teens a second chance.
They haven’t even known each other for a year yet, but Thomas Colgrove and 16-year-old De’Shaun Drew-Gregory already have a strong bond.
“Thomas is like my stepdad,” Drew-Gregory said. “My fun stepdad that I never had because he's always there.”
He is part of the One Hear Project in Topeka, Kansas.
“I always used to be so mad about everything, but now I see that there's much bigger things above me,” Drew-Gregory said. “I just try to calm down and think about what I'm mad about.”
And he said his mentor is there to help.
“He's helping me not only with my anger but with jobs and how life is going to be when I grow up, so it's working pretty good,” Drew-Gregory said.
“I'm able to guide people in a way that allows them to make that decision for themselves,” Colgrove said.
Now that mentoring guidance is expanding at Success Academy in Jackson County, where students that are part of this initiative learn about staying on the right track.
“In order to clean the mess, sometimes you have to take your hand and pull the drain. We have to act to turn those statistics around and to change things within your community,” Colgrove said.
Right now, the program is in high demand for mentors in the Jackson County area.
“It's very important for people who are able to project themselves positively to youth,” Colgrove said. “Because if you don't then somebody who has negative or bad intentions will and it'll just keep that cycle going.”
For Drew-Gregory, he already has a few plans for when he’s older.
“Be a mentor like Thomas, help people,” he said.
If you’d like to learn more about the program and/or volunteering, click here.