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In the News

GOVERNOR TAPS SHERDEILL BREATHETT FOR STATE POST

 

Sherdeill Breathett, Sr., a RHRM board member, has been named the 4th District Kansas African American Commissioner by Gov. Sam Brownback. The commission advises the governor and the Legislature on policy matters affecting African Americans. Breathett also serves on the governor's Task Force on Child Poverty.

Breathett holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. He serves as an associate pastor at St. Mark United Methodist Church and as an economic developer for Sedgwick County. He and wife, Genise co-facilitated "Marriage for Keeps" at Newman University for three years. He and Genise have been married for 20-plus years and they have three young adult children.

INTRODUCING HERO DEVON LOCKHART

 

Devon Lockhart received his membership Hero pin at the July Recognition Event. A recent graduate of Wichita State University, Lockhart is beginning his first year as a high school math and physics teacher at West High School. While a WSU student, Lockart was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and assisted in mentoring Alpha Esquires for RMRH.  

SPECIAL RECOGNITION: BONITA GOOCH 

As publisher and editor of The Community Voice, Bonita Gooch serves an important role as a community leader, focusing on issues and events of importance to Wichita's African-American residents. In 2007, she provided valuable insight that aided in the development of Real Men, Real Heroes. For her service she was presented a Special Recognition Award at the July Recognition Event.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION:

D.W. CARTER 

 

A resident of Topeka, D.W. Carter is a historian, author and educator specializing in military and social history. His book, "Mayday Over Wichita" examines the crash of the Air Force KC-135 tanker in a densely populated African American neighborhood in Wichita on January 16, 1965. He has also designed museum exhibits for the Brown. V. Board of Education National Historical Site. For his contributions, he received a Special Recognition at the July Recognition Event. You can get your own signed copy of Carter's book at Hangar One Steakhouse. Click here for details.   

WANT MORE PHOTOS?

To see more photos like the one below from the July 23 Annual Recognition Event, please visit the My PictureMan website.

 

RMRH Board President Buddy Shannon poses with the organizations new banner.

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AUGUST 2013

  
Real Men, Real Heroes gather for a group photo at the July Recognition Event.
Dear Heroes and supporters,

Welcome to the 2013-14 academic year! This will be Real Men, Real Heroes' sixth year in Wichita Public Schools. In the coming year, both adult Heroes and Teen Heroes will once again visit classrooms and appear at school assemblies to talk about overcoming adversity, striving for academic achievement, and maintaining good character. We will again directly mentor dozens of elementary and middle school boys through Future Heroes, providing positive role models to fatherless boys. And we will again support older teens through high school and give them the academic and personal skills necessary for attending college. Our work would not be possible without the dedication of our members and supporters, who donate the time and money necessary to reach more than 5,000 children a year. On July 23, we celebrated the success of our most recent year, paying tribute to community leaders who inspire us and youth whose achievements are the ultimate reward. Highlights from the event are featured in our newsletter. We hope you will enjoy it, and thank you again!  

Pride Award Honoree

Linwood Sexton

 

Linwood Sexton

Linwood Sexton entertained attendees at the July Recognition Event with stories of how he broke racial barriers in the 1940s as one of the first African American football players for what was then called University of Wichita. As a player he endured segregation during team travel, but became the school's career leader in rushing and total offense, and three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection. He is one of two WSU players to have his jersey retired. He was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. He was also a standout track star in high school, running for the East High Aces on a team that twice won the Kansas Relays and state titles. Sexton graduated from East High School in 1944 and University of Wichita in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in education. He became a teacher and lifelong advocate of education. Sexton told the crowd, "My only regret is that our ancestors didn't live long enough to see the changes. The hell they went through was far worse than what we did." He received a standing ovation.

 

Guests from Wichita Public Schools enjoy listening to Pride Award honoree Linwood Sexton.  From left: School board member Betty Arnold, WPS communications director Wendy Johnson,  Pride Award honoree Riccardo Harris, school board member Joy Eakins, Superintedent John Allison, and behind, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools Bill Faflick. On the far right is Sexton's son, Hero Eric Sexton.

Pride Award Honoree

Riccardo Harris

The keynote speaker, Riccardo Harris discussed the important work of mentoring youth, a cause he took up after losing his son Robert to gang violence in 2008. Robert was not in a gang, but was shot when another youth who was didn't like the way he looked at him. Harris said that when he saw his son's murderer in court, he expected to look at a monster and instead saw just a boy. He realized that the way to prevent senseless deaths is to provide guidance to boys who might otherwise be drawn into gangs. He tells the story in "Misery to Motivation," a book he wrote to help others find hope in the face of grief and to understand the importance of supporting youth. Real Men, Real Heroes uses the book in its programs. Harris currently serves as Regional Coordinator for the Kansas Kids Gear Up program, which assists children in foster care in preparation for college. He also serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Southcentral Kansas.

Riccardo Harris with his wife Rosaland.

Youth Awards

Future Heroes and Alpha Esquires Recognized

Hero Eric Hayden with the three Future Heroes who received iPads for achieving  greater than a 3.0 GPA: Danson Kariuki, Jaylen Hickles and Samuel Kiguro.
Five Alpha Esquires were recognized for academic achievement during the 2012-13 school year: Trenton Autry. David Howard, Douglas Lockett, Jakeel Thomas and Andrew Verge.

Teen Heroes

2012-13 Group Get Scholarships, 2013-14 Group Prepares for Year

 

Randy Krueger of Cargill Cares presented the 2012-2013 Teen Heroes their $500 scholarships: Kendall Winterhalter, Emily Person, Melody Munsell, Isrrael Garcia, Anallely Dominguez, Courtney Allen and Kiah Duggins. Not pictured: Conner Frankamp, Kyle Elliott, Justus "Jet" Moreland and Courtney Nance.
Teen Heroes 2013-14 enjoyed an early August weekend in Kansas City getting to know one another and getting trained for a year of speaking to younger students in Wichita schools. The new Teen Heroes include:  Dee Tucker (South), Aisha Duggins (Northeast), Amber Davis (Northwest), Tia Fox (South), Amy Vuong (Southeast), Tomas Lopez (North), Tarius Williams (North), Derick Holmes (Southeast), Ben Cress (South) and Brae Ellis (Heights).

 

  
On behalf of Real Men, Real Heroes, that's it for this month. Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please contact Polly Basore, newsletter editor, if you have any questions or suggestions. And feel free to forward this to colleagues and share it on Facebook.