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Testimonials

Hear from our community

We're honored to be making an impact on our local youth. Here's what some of our parents and participants had to say:

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Our son, Davon, has been a member of Choices for several years.  We are incredibly grateful to have found this resource for not only Davon but our family.  As a transracial adoptive family, we understand how important it is for our children to experience positive cultural connections.  Choices provides both windows and mirrors for our son.  The leaders of this group are the mirrors to Davon, they foster positive development of his self-image and identity.  The activities, speakers, and trips are the windows provided to these young men. We are so thankful Choices Mentoring Program exists for the boys of color in our community.

—Missy, parent

Choices Mentoring Initiative has helped my son Anthony to self-reflect upon himself as to who he is and how he relates to others by learning new means of self-discipline, self-responsibility, and respect for himself and others.  Being a teen at this age is hard enough and being a minority in the Berkshires is even tougher. Participating weekly in boys’ groups my son sees he’s not alone and powerful by the choices he makes, Anthony’s self-awareness is a work in progress.

—Tina, parent

I am writing today to let you know how much Choices Mentoring means to our family and Mark in particular. Mark attends a school outside of Berkshire County and does not have a lot of opportunities to socialize with kids in our community. Then I heard about Choices Mentoring and I was excited to get Mark involved. As you can imagine, Mark resisted and only agreed to attend one session to appease me. The second session he freely joined! He told me he had never experienced being in a room with only black kids. He wasn’t sure he had anything else in common with the other boys but expressed such happiness with just the “being” in the space.

Mark doesn’t like being in the spotlight or talking but he has shared so many stories from his nights out that I suspect he is starting to speak up. One of the first guest speakers really made an impact on Mark: the president of the BBEC, A.J. Enchill. Mark excitedly repeated everything he had learned that night. He was especially thrilled that when Mark visited the offices of BBEC, Mr Enchill showed him around and gave him “merch.” Mark repeatedly told the story about how Mr  Enchill (AJ)  was happy he was there and invited him back!

Mark wasn’t sure he should go on the college visits with the older boys but was glad he did. It has opened him up to the world not that he is even sure that college is on his path but seeing the options open was informative. And of course he loves to eat out at restaurants! You can’t go wrong with softening educational trips with food!

From my perspective, I have seen how much Mark has grown comfortable in his skin. He doesn’t have to fit in, he just belongs. With the encouragement of the group, I see him trying new things and learning more about himself.

—Melissa, parent

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