AAMEN Program gets Grant

grantcheckTuesday, October 6th 2015, 4:41 pm CSTWednesday, October 7th 2015, 8:08 am CST

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) –A Region 8 program just got some extra help.

Mary Crouch, Best Buy general manager, stopped by Jonesboro High School Tuesday morning where she presented a check for $5,000 to students in the At-Risk American Male Educational Network (AAMEN).

The AAMEN program works to help young men in our area achieve their goals.

“The AAMEN program is a program that provides opportunities and tools to young men ages 7 up to 21 years of age,” Executive Director Rennell Woods said. “We engage young men to prepare them for college, the workforce, military or whatever their endeavors. We want to provide them opportunities to match them up with mentors to be able to give them all the opportunities to be successful. To be productive young men in our community.”

Crouch said helping the community is one of the best parts of her job.

“I love this stuff! We do this program every year and I think this is probably the third or fourth time I’ve worked with Rennell and been able to present a grant here in Jonesboro,” Crouch said. “To me that is the most important thing for us, is to give back to the community that gives us a reason to exist here.”

Woods said they couldn’t help the students without the support of the community.

“It’s very important that our community catches on,” Woods said. “That we are really building back the foundation. When you talk about reaching young men in our community there’s not a lot of people stepping up to engage teenagers.”

Woods said it is the help and guidance of others that can make a difference in shaping the future of these men.

“We’re praying that our community sees the need in how we’re engaging and changing the mindsets,” Woods said. “These guys are focusing on other things instead of things that would keep them distracted to other things. Their focus is on their goals and their careers and their destinies.”

The grant will be used to document and report on the AAMEN program’s projects and activities.

The money was made possible through an annual community grant focusing on teens and technology.

There are around 50 young men in the AAMEN program.

Woods said they are working in the Jonesboro School System right now, but hope to branch out to other Region 8 schools in the future.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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