Manhood Project provides much needed mentoring to African-Americ - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Manhood Project provides much needed mentoring to African-American boys in Dubuque

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Like most teenagers, Rickey Williams has hopes and dreams.

He's not exactly sure what he wants to do with his life just yet, but knows he doesn't want to be a statistic. "Hearing the statistics and the stereotypes it sort of makes you, it gives you a drive to make it to say I'm not like everybody else," said the 17-year-old from Dubuque.

Rickey along with the rest of the young men in this room taking part in the Manhood Project.

The program is geared towards mentoring African-American boys in Dubuque ages 13-18 years old and instilling in them life lessons for success. "We're focused on really developing young men for their skills, their personal skills, educational skills, and really trying to prepare them for  better futures for themselves and their families," said Ernest Jackson of the Dubuque Black Men Coalition. 

This week, they're learning about job skills from John Deere employees. 

Most importantly, the program  is about motivating the boys so they can overcome the odds. "I just wanna be different you know. I just wanna have something that's not like everyone else. Someone can say oh Rickey. I want them to say OH -- Rickey, like the person who broke it, who made something."

The program is going on through the month of march. Every Saturday they focus on a different topic ranging from jobs, financial literacy, and even healthy relationships.

It's held once a year and is sponsored by the Dubuque Multicultural Family Center.

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