The results we are achieving are most evident in the young members of Son of a Saint. Smiles and laughter are common among the boys. That’s a powerful result. Civic duty, community involvement and volunteerism are important to them.
Fatherless boys are often boys in crisis, and especially so for Son of a Saints members, the majority of whom have lost their fathers to street violence or long prison sentences. They come into Son of a Saint at a delicate time in their lives. Once in the organization, boys are gradually and systematically equipped with the tools they need to become productive men. They’re given hope, vision and opportunity. The organization, with its “Clubhouse” in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans, provides a secure and consistent environment. In this safe place, young members forge relationships with volunteer mentors, counselors, tutors and peers that develop over a long period of time, providing reliable support, guidance and encouragement. Son of a Saint was developed to employ a holistic approach, using a network of volunteers and partner agencies that enables the organization to address every boy’s every need.
Each boy receives the following:
The organization is partnered with several New Orleans-based mental health agencies to provide evaluations and regular, ongoing counseling for our boys.
Son of a Saint members are exposed to team sports, horseback riding, fishing, yoga, music, chess, the arts and more. Every boy participates these activities regularly. Mentors also support and encourage boys in their extracurricular activities by attending games, school plays, musical performances, etc.
Regular daylong sessions are designed to aid in boys’ academic, personal and overall development, with session topics including etiquette, time management, decision-making, critical thinking, anger management, moral reasoning, life skills, work ethic, leadership, civic responsibility, teamwork and integrity. Kids and mentors also enjoy frequent outings, such as sporting events, educational trips, movies, dining, parades and volunteer activities.
Broadening of Horizons
When opportunities present themselves, Son of a Saint hits the road. For example, in 2014 a group of seven boys, along with mentors, traveled to Montreal. A benefactor had sponsored six months of French lessons for the boys in advance of the trip, as well as the trip itself. The experience gave the boys many firsts – first time getting a passport, on a plane, on a metro, in snow, at a hockey game and more. Another example: Each summer 10 boys from the program attend Camp Rockmont in Asheville, NC, where they learn invaluable life lessons and have a lot of fun, too.
Son of a Saint maintains relationships with various New Orleans colleges and universities whose students volunteer to provide weekly tutoring for the boys.
The organization facilitates scholarships allowing Son of a Saint members to attend tuition-based middle and high schools.