By Staff Reports
(Adelanto)– More than three dozen men showed up in the High Desert’s first “Men Mob” in a show of support for students at Adelanto High School Monday morning.
The men, business leaders, pastors, government officials and others, formed a gauntlet, high-fiving and chanting encouragement as students arrived on campus. Students streamed through the dual columns of men who chanted “Straight A’s, every day!” and “Way to go … Adelanto” and other phrases.
The student’s initial confusion was quickly overcome by smiles.
The show of support has two objectives: To encourage students to have a good day, work hard and be kind to one another. It’s also aimed at showing students that there are many people in the community care about their success in school and beyond.
“The purpose is to bring the community together, specifically the men in the community, so that we can show up at these schools and show these kids that we support them, that we are here for them and there are some good men in these communities,” said Co-organizer Terrance Stone.
It was also an opportunity for kids to see good local role models.
Ebony Purcell, Adelanto High School Principal said, “For some of these students, seeing you men standing here for them today is the closet they have come to having “father figures.”
“I think it touches kids just from the standpoint that they can see us out there in the community, so that they can see good men in the community coming out so that positive role model,” said Stone, President and CEO of Young Visionaries, a nonprofit that works to transform lives and put kids on the right track in life.
The idea for the “Men Mob” came from an informal group, known as “The Fellas” to encourage kids to study hard and to let them know that although the kids may not see them, they have many supporters rooting for them.
“It was amazing to see the change in the students as they initially tried to avoid the line of men who were there to greet them from suspicious to a wide smile, bright eyes and a warm high-five or a generous handshake,” said Men Mob participant Ron Frame, a field representative for First District Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood. “The momentum seemed to build as the students watched others go through the line in front of them and receive nothing more than a warm greeting and a positive remark, all in all it was a refreshingly positive experience.”
Other participants included Adelanto City Councilman Charlie Glasper, Pastor David Denson and Victor Valley Union High School District Superintendent Ron Williams.
Stone, whose organization has been seen on HBO, MSNBC, TBN and CBS, said civic groups and men’s organizations are encouraged to expand the effort.
“You don’t have to wait for us,” Stone said. “If you want to do a “Man Mob” you can get some men together and contact the school, go out there and just support those kids.”
For more information, visit www.YVYLA-IE.org. On Facebook search “The Fellas.”