Community members came out this weekend to celebrate the opening of a new nonprofit organization in Killeen, aimed at providing local youth with a place to go for guidance, leadership skills and tutoring.
Boyz 2 Men Youth Program held a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony Saturday. Families and volunteers enjoyed jumpers, dunking booths, food, games and horseback rides while learning about what the program offers for the youth of Central Texas.
The purpose of the program is to offer a “safe haven where inner-city youth participate in a comprehensive program of sports and academic tutoring that promotes the physical, educational and life skills necessary to prepare and empower them for leadership in their communities and success in their personal lives,” said Quentin Sterling, director of the nonprofit.
Sterling, 25, is a Killeen native, former soldier and college football player.
Growing up in a single parent household gave Sterling a first-hand look at how difficult it can be for young men and women to find guidance.
He credits the mentors he had as a young man with helping him find the right track, and his experiences prompted him to open Boyz 2 Men.
“I am living proof that youth organizations and mentors really work,” he said.
Along with Sterling, the facility on 10th Street is run by volunteers and family members. Volunteers help the program with cleaning, painting, building and working at fundraisers.
Sterling’s aunt, Karmyn West, serves as administrative assistant, and Victoria Floyd is the organization’s project manger. The two ladies process applications, greet visitors and track the finances.
Teaching high-risk youth the skills to become successful in life is at the core of the Boyz 2 Men Youth Program. A computer lab is available for homework assistance and volunteers educate children about healthy lifestyles and how to combat obesity.
The program also provides positive role models, guest speakers and special events.
Boyz 2 Men is open to all interested youth and all services are available free of charge.
The program can accommodate up to 60 children and is open year round, Monday through Friday, from noon to 7 p.m., and every other Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Additional volunteers are always welcome. Applications are available on the organization’s website, boyz2menyouthprogram.webs.com.
Saturday’s ceremony was officiated by Pastor Sadallie Cole of True Deliverance Ministries.