EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBOYS TO MEN
from Eyewitness News Online
Group Of West Side Boys Takes Path To Success; Headed To White House
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Aug. 6, 2012 10:23 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 7, 2012 10:12 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A group of West Side boys is getting the chance of a lifetime, and it's all because of hard work and a newfound eagerness to learn.
In just less than a year, a group of 17 elementary and middle school-aged boys has gone from almost failing out of school, to making the honor roll. Now, the boys' achievements have caught the eye of the president of the United States.
For these young boys, a simple philosophy has changed their lives and opened the door to possibilities they never knew were there.
"We talk about good choices and bad choices," 8-year-old Amar Hairston said.
A year ago, school wasn't Hairston's favorite place to go, but with help from a group called "Boys To Men," he is making straight A's, and like his new friends, has a much different outlook on life.
“They help me make a lot friends and help me understand life isn't as easy as you think," said Kijante Figures, a student about to enter the sixth grade.
Members of the group meets once a week, and they also go on special trips in an effort to let the boys experience things they likely wouldn't get to try otherwise. Their biggest trip is just around the corner.
"I’m going to Washington, D.C.," Hairston said.
The White House got word of the boys and their successes, and personally invited them to D.C. They will get to go inside and, if he is there, they could meet President Barack Obama.
"We just made a commitment years ago that we were going to expose any kids that we had in our care to everything that we can, and this is just another part of it," the Rev. James Ealy said.
But, of course, you can't go to the White House without something new to wear. The boys even got to go on a special shopping trip to make sure they are looking their best for their Washington debut.
Mentor Denny Westover said the program teaches the boys important lessons. "Good choices open up opportunities in life; bad choices close life down around you," Westover said.
Without question, it’s a program that has opened the eyes and minds of a group of boys with a newfound love to learn.
Kijante Figures is a prime example. "I've been thinking of being like a doctor, but I don't know so far," Figures said.
The boys will go to the White House on Friday.
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