Camden Academy summit helps boys become men
CAMDEN, N.J. - April 25, 2012 (WPVI) -- A group of young men in Camden learned some valuable life lessons Wednesday.
A summit titled "Boyz to Men" was held at an alternative school to help students learn more about becoming a man.
In Camden, the focus was on young men often considered lost to society.
Students come to Camden City Accelerated Academy, an alternative school, to try to get past a history of performing poorly in school or dropping out.
"Our kids come here with a lot of baggage; a lot of baggage within their homes and within their communities," said Henry Demby, Director of Services at Camden City Academy.
The students attended the Boyz to Men Summit, meant to help them learn how to unpack some that baggage.
Fifteen speakers gave advice on how to make the journey to a successful manhood.
"I want them to know that the principles of manhood is not just going out and finding a job, or going out and making a baby, and saying, 'I'm a man'. You have to have the core values," said Niger Ali.
"When we say manhood, we're not talking about you're grown because you have a beard and your underarms stink when you sweat now. We're talking about the qualities of manhood, whether or not you are a good man," William Cobb told the students.
Speakers like William Cobb also offered inspiration by example. Cobb grew up in North Philadelphia poor and fatherless, enduring everything from sexual to physical abuse.
His life now is very different.
"I am a father of two children, I am married, I am a successful business man," said Cobb. "I'm a community activist, and more importantly, I am proud of who I am today."
Every day the instructors at Camden City Accelerated Academy try to give their students lessons, but they say the speakers at Wednesday's summit took it to the next level with real life advice.
"He was telling the truth," said Jesse Colon. "I think he got into a couple of our heads, our hearts and stuff."
The students say they will leave the summit with a lot to think about. Summit organizers believe it was a successful step in getting these boys into a far better future as men.
school, camden, new jersey, local/state, tamala edwards
- Snow today, heavy at times 46 min ago
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- 2013 Troop Greetings
- Photos: Pictures from the winter storm 21 min ago
- Photos: Winter storm forecast maps
- Video: David Henry on snow at Rittenhouse Sq.
- Video: John Rawlins on snow in E. Norriton 28 min ago
- Video: Nora Muchanic on snow in Trenton
- Video: Katherine Scott on snow in Delaware 41 min ago
- Gunman fires shots through window, teens wounded
- Obama urges world to act on Mandela legacy
- Arrest made in Beats headphone murder
- Rachael Ray's cookbook competition
- Snow today, heavy at times
46 min ago
- John Rawlins on snow in E. Norriton
28 min ago