Growing up just down the road from the Haven Acres Boys & Girls Club, Marcell Johnson has learned to overcome obstacles in life.
The only male living with his mother and two sisters, Johnson struggled with self-esteem and many other challenges faced by today’s youth.
“The staff became my second mother, father, brother and sister,” Johnson said. “My father was never there to show me how to shoot a jump shot, but Mr. Quintant (Haven Acres staff) was here and helped me daily.”
The club’s Passport To Manhood program allowed Johnson to receive man-to-man talks that are most often shared between a father and son. Being a part of the Boys & Girls Club brought hope and future back into his life.
“The staff gave me the confidence to do right and strive for excellence,” he said.
Johnson’s experience inspired his senior project at Tupelo High School, titled “Fatherless Black Teen Males.” The project encourages excellence in other youth with similar stories.
To date, the project has been very successful with Johnson receiving A’s on all assignments, and it was evaluated by a local panel. Following graduation May 20, Marcell plans to attend Mississippi State University, Lane College or San Diego State.
Johnson shared his story with donors at the Tupelo Annual Champion For Youth Breakfast honoring Jack Reed Sr. earlier this year. The event paid tribute to the lifelong commitments that Reed has made to the quality of life for youth in Tupelo and Lee County.
You too can be a champion. Visit our website at www.bgcnms.org or call us at 841-6504, Ext. 3 to find out how.
Evie Storey Boyd is the director of marketing and special events for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi. Contact Boyd at 841-6504 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.