Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas, Texas, wanted to put together their first “Breakfast with Dad” event. They only had one small problem—a number of the boys’ fathers were unable to attend.
In an effort to find men willing to volunteer an hour of their time, a post was made on Facebook asking for “at least 50 or more additional male mentors.”
Previously Dade Middle School was one of the lowest-performing schools in Dallas, but has since made improvements.
The school’s principal, Tracie Washington, told The Dallas Morning News that she hoped for a large group of “positive male role models” to be in attendance, and she got her wish.
Once the request was made public on Facebook, many men from various backgrounds responded to the call for help. The post was shared over 120 times and had nearly 90 comments from men wanting to donate their time.
But when it came to the event, many, many more showed up. The final count was close to 600.
The middle school’s first “Breakfast with Dad” was wildly successful.
Words cannot describe the impact mentoring youth can have on both you and your mentee. Powerful to see a community of fellow men and fathers come together to wrap their arms around or young men. Thank you for having me out. pic.twitter.com/2fTicFpzws
— Jason Rodriguez (@DISDPD_AChiefJR) December 14, 2017
School administrators and event organizers were overwhelmed by the number of men who volunteered their time to give the boys a supportive environment.
Men answered questions and taught the boys how to tie a tie.
At the event, the 600 volunteers mingled with the middle school students and discussed their jobs, offered advice, and taught the young men how to properly tie a tie.
One volunteer told NBC 5 that he didn’t hesitate to sign up for the event because when he was young he had male role models who gave him opportunities and supported him.
“I just wanted to do the same thing,” he said.
Many of the first-time volunteers indicated it wouldn’t be their last occasion donating their time.
After spending an hour with the students, one man who is a professional auctioneer offered to return to the school and put together a mock auction for the students.
One student even suggested that one of the volunteers would become his permanent mentor.
The school hopes to put together another mentorship program in the spring.
Earlier today I had the blessing of being apart of the Dade Middle School “Breakfast with Dads” mentoring program. Of course I’m not a father yet, but I was allowed to come and show some young men how to tie a tie and sign up to mentor these young men you see here. I’m beyond excited for this opportunity 🙏🏾 #DadeMiddleSchool #BreakfastWithDads #Mentoring
“When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,” Rev. Donald Parish Jr. of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church, the event organizer, told The Dallas Morning News. “These kids need all the support they can get to be successful.”