If looks could kill, the young man whom Gerrille Robinson stared down one Sunday morning at church may not have made it. The look had to do with the young man sporting an Afro Pick (comb) on the crown of his medium-size Afro. (Guess he was showing off the comb when Robinson, the young man’s mentor, spotted him.) It was not the time nor the place for the show and tell, according to Robinson. The look was a dead giveaway that Robinson meant business. But the chastisement appeared to be done in love.
“We have to train them up, right,” said Robinson, who started a program in 2016 for teen males ages 12-18 (middle and high schoolers) for that very reason.
The program, called Got Skills, ran by Robinson and other community leaders, aims to give male youth the “tools” to develop basic life skills. They does this through what they call valued mentorship (group and individual mentoring), to develop the character and skill set in the young men to become productive citizens. They host workshops, enrichment outings and special events.
Although the program is officially only in its third year, one parent had nothing but praise for it.
“I can’t say enough about Got Skills Orlando. It has helped my son greatly. He has been to a number of the Got Skills events and has learned a lot – things that I could not teach him,” said Glenette Bruce, a single parent and widow.
Got Skills recently hosted a mental and physical health summit, which exposed the teens to cross fit training (outside in an open field) and insight on teen suicide and depression, bullying and social media, etc. Organizers said the summit was well attended and the participants were excited to learn.
Teens, through Got Skills, have also learned how to fish, dress to impress (tie a tie and have good personal hygiene), do vehicle maintenance and fix stuff around the house.
Another workshop, called “Teen Finance,” is planned this Saturday, March 24, at Land of Hope, 3100 S. Rio Grande Ave. in Orlando. The workshop, scheduled from 10 a.m until 12 p.m., will educate participants on bank accounts, good and bad credit and retirement.
For the most part, there is no cost for young men to be a part of Got Skills. The program operates on donations from its leaders, volunteer mentors, as well as parents and people within the Orlando area community.
Parents or guardians who are interested in the program should reach out to Robinson or one of the other Got Skills leaders. Email: info@GotSkillsOrlando.com or call 407-984-8098. You may also visit their website to find out how to register your son, grandson or other male family member in the appropriate age range. The website is http://www.GotSkillsOrlando.com.
© Orlando Community News, 2018