December 2014
Heroes and 2014 Honorees Ted Ayres, Mark McCormick and Fred VanVleet.
Dear Friends,
We hope this newsletter finds you preparing to celebrate a joyous holiday with friends and family. We feel we have much to celebrate at Real Men, Real Heroes, Inc., most notably the continuation of our successful existing mentoring programs and the development and growth of new programs. Please take a moment to catch up on the latest. 

RMRH Inc.
'Real Men Real Heroes Wichita Recognition Event 2014

Real Men Real Heroes

Recognition Event 2014

Real Men, Real Heroes, Inc. is grateful for the continued critical financial support from the Wichita  community. In March, the 
Kansas Health Foundation awarded RMRH a $17,340 Recognition Grant. Those funds help pay for the administrative support of our mostly volunteer-run program.This year we also received grants from  Excel Jaycees ($1,000) Spirit Aerosystems
($1,000) and Wells Fargo ($2,000 gifts). Wells Fargo made a $1,000 donation in May followed by a second $1,000 gift in October that was made possible by board member Ebony Clemons, a Wells Fargo employee, who was given the opportunity to direct a donation to the charity of her choice. Thank you so much to our generous sponsors. If you wish to make a donation, too, please do so via PayPal at our website.

Wilma Moore-Black
We also thank you and say good-bye to one board member and welcome back another: Wilma Moore-Black, WSU TRIO Upward Bound, gave her time and talent to RMRH since its inception in 2007. She was an original participant of the advisory board that developed the Real Men, Real Heroes concept, then later served as a dedicated board member once Heroes established the RMRH Inc. nonprofit. Careem Gladney returns to us after leaving us to work for Cargill in Albany, New York. Careem was instrumental in establishing our partnership with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to create the Alpha Esquire program. We are very pleased to have him back. He is still with Cargill.

McCormick, Ayres and VanVleet
In July, we once again celebrated the achievements of the youth we mentor and honored a few exemplary individuals in our community at our Annual Recognition Event. If you were unable attend, you can watch a video of the event here.  Two men were honored for their role in helping Wichita State University secure Kansas native Gordon Parks' collection of photographic essays, books, music and film.The Pride Award went to Ted Ayres, WSU's vice president and general counsel. A special recognition award went to Mark McCormick, former Eagle columnist and now executive director of the Kansas African American Museum. Shocker basketball player Fred VanVleet also received a special award for his work with young people. 

At the STEMpact2020 Kickoff
The event also provided an opportunity to recognize two new Heroes, Taylor Countee and Roy Moye, both students at Wichita State University. Taylor and Roy are both active in mentoring through their work with the WSU chapter of National Society of Black Engineers, which does science outreach at Coleman Middle School. The addition of two members with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds coincides with RMRH's involvement as a partner in a citywide initiative to engage STEM professionals as mentors called STEMpact2020. Heroes Buddy Shannon, and Sherdeill Breathett  along with mentees from our Future Hero and Alpha Esquire spoke on the transformative effect of mentoring at an October breakfast held at Exploration Place to kick off the new program, which is coordinated by the WSU College of Engineering. In 2015, RMRH plans to work with WSU engineering students to learn and incorporate STEM activities into its mentoring programs. RMRH's involvement in STEM is being led by Hero Derek Morgan, a WSU engineering graduate and FAA fight test administrator.

RMRH at Gordon Parks.
The other significant initiative of 2014 is a partnership with Gordon Parks Academy
, a K-8  Wichita public school. Adult Heroes began mentoring at Gordon Parks last year, but this year increased significantly the number of boys reached. Currently. the Heroes are working with 20 fourth graders and 42 fifth graders. The school-day mentoring time has allowed new Heroes to become involved in direct mentoring outside of the Future Heroes program, which meets in the evenings. Heroes volunteering at Gordon Parks include Van Williams, Hassan Ramzah, Garney Hill, Sherdeill Breathett and Buddy ShannonShannon says he hopes to recruit boys from Gordon Parks into the Future Heroes program as a means of growing participation.

 

Teen Heroes
This year's Teen Heroes billboard was on display in October.



Real Men, Real Heroes created the Teen Hero program in 2009, responding to a demand for younger role models they encountered during visits to Wichita public schools. Teen Heroes are selected from Wichita's public high schools during the spring of their junior year to serve during their senior year in high school.
 
Thank yous from  Allen Elementary students to the Teen Heroes.
The 2014-15 group includes: Cooper Allison (Southeast), Emilio Escamilla (North), Hausten Irving (Northeast), Natasha Lawrence (Heights),Jontavia Moore (Heights), Thomas Schmidt (Northwest), Shelby Smith (Heights), Timothy Vogel (Heights), Christopher Vuong (Southeast) and Alyssa Ward (Southeast).
 
This group of outstanding teens spent the fall semester engaged in school visits, including Allen Elementary, Gammon Elementary and Pleasant Valley Middle School, where they spoke about bullying to an assembly of 600 students. In addition, the Teen Heroes assist in direct mentoring of the Future Heroes and other community service. In November, five Teen Heroes served as greeters at the Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Gala.   
 
  
Alpha Esquire
Alpha Esquires with mentors and honoree Ted Ayres at the Annual Recognition Event.
Alpha Esquire, conducted in partnership between Real Men, Real Heroes and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, is a program for boys 9th - 12th grade.  Mentors guide boys through high school, preparing them for college or other post-secondary school success. Specifically, Alpha Esquire meet bi-weekly with boys, sharing a meal and providing academic tutoring as well as mentoring and life skills. Lessons will include professional development skills such as resume writing, how to dress appropriately for professional settings, dining etiquette, public speaking, civic responsibility and community service, peer relations, sexual responsibility, independent living skills and personal finance. In the spring, Alpha Esquire plans visits to Kansas State University and WSU. 
Future Heroes
Future Heroes at the OKC-Toronto game at Wichita's Intrust Arena in October.
Future Heroes provides direct mentoring by adult Heroes to boys in 4th-8th grades. The purpose is to build boys' self esteem by providing a unique and safe place where boys can interact with committed, conscientious men who encourage them to be young men of honor. We help boys discover and develop their individual strengths, talents and gifts, while also learning how to pursue goals and resolve conflicts. About 20 boys meet every other week for dinner, homework help and program activities at Atwater Neighborhood Community Center. Programs focus on building reading skills, as well as community service. Future Heroes also go with adult Heroes on four to six fun outings a year, such as sporting events, fishing, and much more.
 
In October, adult Heroes took the boys to the OKC Thunder basketball game at Intrust Arena, where Hero Roy Moye sang the national anthem. The boys also made another visit to Barnes and Noble book store where they each were permitted  to choose a book of their choice. This month they also plan to visit The Kansas African American Museum for cultural enrichment. Heroes that make this program possible by volunteering their time include Eric Hayden, Wayne Bell, Michael Bruce and Taylor Countee.

 
Scholarship Opportunity

Real Men, Real Heroes began mentoring inmates at the maximum-security El Dorado Correctional Facility in 2008 at the request of an inmate who read about the organization in the newspaper. The monthly mentoring sessions are attended by 15 to 40 men each month. To express appreciation, El Dorado inmates -- through the Eldorado Excel Jaycees -- support two $500 scholarships, each for a child of an incarcerated parent. An application for that scholarship is now available online here. Applications are due January 23, 2015. 

 
Contact RMRH Coordinator Christina Dotson
(316) 303-8017 or 
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