It’s that time again. After having a delicious breakfast at the Allstate Center we gathered to be fitted for our graduation tuxedos. Mr. Ron Sacino himself arrived dressed to perfection. Like a true tailor, Mr. Sacino took each young man’s measurements and counseled them in all matters of style. Following the fitting, the group traveled to Gratzzi Italian Grille and enjoyed a delicious lunch as they conversed amongst their peers. It was a good day to be a Man In The Making.
Front Page News
The highlight of the February Men In The Making Session appeared when the mentors took the time to show the young men the simple act of tying a tie. This simple gesture served as a symbolic rite of passage that many sons experience with their fathers. There are several pieces of literature that point out the symbolism in every aspect of one’s tie. Passing on this tradition and skill to the younger members of the group was an important totem in the thread of trust being sewn in the program.
Congratulations Tramar!!! Thank you Gill, Matt, Luke, John, Klev, and Rob for taking the time to show this amazing young man support. We have all watched Tramar grow into an inspiring young man with a bright future ahead of him. We are all proud of you and seeing a member of MIM sign with Indiana University, fulfilling a dream of playing college football, confirms not only our but your dedication to the Men In The Making mission.
No matter where you are, we will all be here to promote your continued success.
Earlier this month several of the Men In The Making family starred on stage at the Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement at the Palladium, St Petersburg. Thank you to several of St. Petersburg’s finest for coming out and supporting this production.
The Power of Song shares the stories of the music that drove the movement and how music can be used as a tool of nonviolence. The production is the official kick-off event of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Diamonds Are Forever, Life Is Irreplaceable! Julie Weintraub of the Gold & Diamond Source came in and gave an interesting summation on women and choices. Our very own, Boyzell Hosey, provided a visually stimulating address on capturing moments in time, “the world we view”. Starting off 2017 strong with a full room of young men ready to learn and grow under the watchful eyes of their mentors.
On Sunday, the organization did the same off the field, along with a group of Bay News 9 employees.
Bay News 9 reporter Trevor Pettiford emceed the event and stressed to the young men the event meant just as much to him as it did to them.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Pettiford said. “To be a part of Men in the Making.
“It’s great to be involved with them, get the young men out at different events and give back to the community. It’s just a win-win.”
The boys were treated to a tailgate party at One Buc Place, played games, engaged in mentoring sessions with Bay News 9 employees and enjoyed a Q-and-A session with former Buc and current team Director of Football Operations Shelton Quarles.
“It’s really important,” Quarles said of lending his time to the men in the Making organization. “Anytime to have a chance to give back, you do. Coach Dungy taught his players that. I try to continue that to this day.”
The group then headed into Raymond James Stadium to cheer on the Bucs against the New Orleans Saints.
Born out of tragedy, the Men in the Making program now mentors approximately 50 young men from south St. Petersburg neighborhoods.
The creation of the group came about after the 2011 shooting death of St. Petersburg police officer David Crawford.
A teenager, Nicholas Lindsey, then 16, was convicted of killing Crawford and is now serving a life sentence.
A need was seen to connect teens with people in the community to keep them on a successful path. Mentors meet with boys one Saturday a month, spending time with them for about seven to eight hours.
Professionals from the community and police officials work with the teens — teaching everything from tying ties and speaking in public to developing writing and critical thinking skills.
The group has had speakers from ESPN, gone to restaurants, visited museums and had demonstrations from St. Petersburg police.
Sunday was a chance to do what only two kids in the group had ever done: attend a live National Football League game.
Kenny Irby, the program director of Men in the Making, said the boys worked hard to earn the honor of attending the game.
“Today is just affirmation of how enriching this activity can be,” Irby said. “Getting these kids to see things outside of their environment is vital.
“But they earned it – with their academics and behavior. They promised they would and it’s a promise that was kept.”
Service…the topic of today’s Men In The Making session. We ended the year strong with one of our most informative gatherings of aspiring young men yet.
A special thank you to BayNews9 anchor, Erica Riggins, who stopped in for lunch to celebrate our program success in preparation for our “Day With The Bucs” next Sunday. Erica graciously serves as a Men In The Making ambassador.
TBABJ to honor veteran journalists at Nov. 17 banquet
The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists (TBABJ) will honor five veteran journalists next month at its annual Griot Drum Awards & Scholarship Banquet.
Larry Cotton, Dayle Green, the Rev. Kenny Irby, Josh Thomas and Denise White will receive TBABJ’s 2016 Legacy Award at the organization’s banquet on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. The Legacy Award is a tribute to trailblazing journalists who have made outstanding contributions to Tampa Bay.
Cotton retired this year as WFLA-TV’s senior production cameraman and photographer. He also was a restaurant review correspondent of “Larry’s Good Eats’’ for 12 years on WFLA’s “Daytime’’ show. Cotton, who moved to Tampa from Cleveland, Ohio in 1986, worked at WFLA for 28 years and has been in journalism about 40 years. His involvement with the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists started when the organization was known as the Suncoast Black Communicators.
Rev. Kenny Irby
Irby was Poynter Institute’s visual journalism and diversity senior faculty member from 1995 to 2015. In 2016, he was hired by the City of St. Petersburg as its community intervention director. Irby also is the pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in St. Petersburg. He recently formed Men in the Making, a program that pairs boys with role models. Before joining Poynter, he worked as a photojournalist for Newsday and media outlets in Boston and Michigan.
Greene came to Tampa in 1972 and became one of the first African-American on-air talents at Fox’s WTVT-Channel 13. He has the distinction of being the first black news anchor in the area. Green also has hosted a public affairs show for Cox Radio. He currently is a career manager at the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance.
Thomas retired from WFLA this year as an anchor and reporter. He began his broadcast career as a reporter in Rockford, Illinois, and worked as an anchor and reporter in Peoria, Illinois; New Haven, Connecticut; Atlanta; Baltimore, Maryland; and Birmingham, Alabama. He became a weekend co-anchor at WFLA in 2003. Thomas won numerous awards for reporting in Atlanta and Baltimore and was named the best anchor in Alabama by the Associated Press in 1997. He also has served as a visiting faculty member at Poynter Institute.
After 25 years at Fox’s WTVT-Channel 13, Denise White retired from her full-time position in 2015. It also marked 40 years in the broadcast industry. White left a Miami station to begin her career at Tampa’s Fox network. She was part of the first female anchor duo in Tampa Bay television. For some time in the 1990s, White was the highest-profile minority anchor in the local market and the only black journalist anchoring a weekday evening newscast.
At the Nov. 17 banquet, TBABJ also will present awards for the best media coverage of people of color and award college scholarships to students studying journalism.
The cocktail hour is at 6 p.m. The dinner and the awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Tammie Fields, an anchor and reporter with WTSP 10 News, will be the emcee. Jarrett Hill, a former Tampa journalist who is now a correspondent with The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles, will be the special guest.
Tickets to the Nov. 17 banquet are $30, $10 for full-time students, and $300 for a table. They can be purchased through TBABJ’s website at www.tbabj.com.
Young men reflecting on the importance of learning from their history. Dr. Basha Jordan Jr. was an amazing inspiration and held the young men of Men In The Making responsible for their futures.
We also honored Reverend Williams for making it to Capitol Hill to deliver the Congressional opening prayer. His presence and that of the other accomplished mentors helped solidify a lot of the principals we try to convey each month.