Whether online or in-person, Black boys in the Lansing area can count on mentorship. Through spiritual leadership, community service, educational meetings and field trips, Turning Point of Lansing has been working over the course of two decades to serve these students the best they can.
After the 2019-2020 school year was forced to finish online, these men spent an entire summer teaching themselves how to use Zoom, restructuring their program to remain as effective as possible.
Turning Point’s Afrocentric mentorship program works to build a bond with Black boys that school teachers can’t replicate. Chairman of Turning Point, Wayne Lynn credits the program’s effective work to their more casual meeting settings.
“When we’re in a classroom setting, they don’t feel nearly as comfortable as they do when we’re at the gym, when we’re skating, or when we’re bowling,” said Lynn. “So informal venues tend to be a lot more effective when it comes down to really getting to know the young men.”
Now that these settings have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turning Point of Lansing must rely on Zoom meetings from the comfort of their own homes; the most informal
setting of all.
“Who knows what we’re going to end up with, we don’t know,” says Lynn. “But we are poised to serve whoever we can in this virtual space.”