Danville Police Dept. creates new program to mentor at-risk teenagers

The Boys to Men program has already seen success with 13 teenagers who completed the program last month

DANVILLE, Va. – The Danville Police Department created a new program to help keep young people out of trouble and put them on the right path.

It’s called the Boys to Men program.

The police department teamed up with Shining Diamonds Mentoring to host classes for at-risk teenagers.

“I was just thinking of stuff to do to help the at-risk youth so I thought of Boys to Men,” said Daivd Ferguson, the department’s Community Engagement sergeant.

“We teach them, we give them skills. We try to give youth skills that they are going to need to be successful when they get older,” said Marvin Martin Jr., Shining Diamonds Mentoring executive director.

They teach things from how to apply for a job, what to wear to an interview, how to respect women and so much more.

Most importantly, the program gives these kids a good role model to look up to.

“It’s guys that are kind of teeter-tottering on whether they want to go to gang life. We try to keep them on the straight and narrow. We don’t want them to follow people, we show them how to be leaders,” said Sgt. Ferguson.

Thirteen teenagers were the first to complete the program just last month.

Organizers said they’re already seeing success.

“One example of a young man that participated in the Boys to Men program, we got him a job,” said Martin. “He was getting C’s and D’s and F’s last year. This year, we have been monitoring his grades, he has four A’s and a B.”

Organizers plan to take on another group of boys and help turn them into men in the coming months.

Danville Police says the program is funded by community donations and put on by volunteers.

To get involved in the program by donating or signing someone up, contact Danville Police Department.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.