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Mentors Empower Beechcroft Boys to Be Men

Beechcroft Mentor and Mentee

December 5, 2022 -- The word ‘mentor’ might be defined as a trusted counselor or guide that enables or influences one’s life. 

For Sherwin Armistead Jr., a freshman at Beechcroft High School, his mentor is the very person he was named after; his father. Sherwin Armistead Sr.

When he first heard about the opportunity to invite his mentor to the Men’s Empowerment Breakfast, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.

“The word mentor means a man letting a boy take a tour of his life,” said Armistead Sr., “My son invited me as his mentor. He’s saying that I’m allowing him as a boy to take a tour of my life. It’s an honor and a privilege.”

Beechcroft Men's Empowerment BreakfastThe event kicked off with a pancake breakfast followed by empowerment speeches. It concluded with a moment of appreciation between the mentors and mentees.

“We see the narratives that are being painted of our young men. We want to change that narrative,” said Dion Drakeford, Assistant Principal. “I want [the students] to walk away knowing they have a community of men here at Beechcroft ready to pour into them.”

With help from Family Ambassador Tylene White, Drakeford brought in featured guest speakers Lawrence Funderburke, Jeffrey Price, and Londale Towns. 

Funderburke often goes by the name “Mr. Fundy” and attended Sullivant Elementary School and Starling PreK-8. 

The former professional basketball player expressed the importance of paving your path.

“Just because you come from a different environment doesn’t mean that you always have to be a product of that environment,” he said. “It’s not about where you start, it’s how you finish.”

Price, CEO of Plan Logistics Solutions and graduate of Columbus Alternative High School, spoke about having clarity and direction for their life. 

“I gave them the 5 D’s of life: defining daily decisions driven by discipline. These will help them be a blessing to everyone involved in their lives in the long run,” Price said. “Being able to give back to the community that helped raise me and helps raise other men moves my heart with passion and inspiration.”

Towns moved the crowd with his passion for students creating opportunities out of a crisis.

Following the speeches, students were allowed to express their appreciation for their mentors.

“I’m glad I have somebody in my life that can push me to do better things and lift other people up,” said Armistead Jr.

Drakeford hopes this event will help create a network of role models and community advocates that will show up and pour into the students’ lives at Beechcroft.

“Our young people are looking for a reason to be successful but sometimes they just need a catalyst,” Funderburke added. “As a father, as a mentor, as a dad, helping these young men by affirming them, validating them, loving them is the key to helping them propel forward.”

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology