Mentoring group celebrates second anniversary
Some of the young men honored in Saturday’s Boys to Kings Mentoring Alliance second anniversary celebration included, front row, from left, Keynie Williams, Venice Taylor, Zamari Mewborn and Keyonta Mumford; back row, ChrisStyle Hooker, Alijah Garner, Kamden Sutton and Bryan Fields. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
When Kenyari Fields moved back home to Kinston from Dallas a little more than two years ago, he wanted to become part of a community that helped its young men become good citizens.
Saturday, the organization he helped create to fulfill the vision – Boys to Kings Mentoring Alliance – celebrated its two-year anniversary with an impressive program at The Gate. The event included an introduction to some of the young men in the program, music from God’s Gifts (a quintet of Gate young women) and testimonials from parents and community leaders.
One of the community leaders – Kinston Mayor Pro Tem Felicia Solomon – praised Fields, his vision and the young men who are part of the Boys to Kings.
“It’s all about this right here,” Solomon said, pointing to the table where eight of the Boys to Kings students sat. “We salute you, we love you and we humble ourselves for you. Continue to do great.”
The keynote speaker was Tameeka Tolliver, a senior clinical regulatory specialist from Durham and mother of three, who helped Fields develop the program two years ago.
“We all come from different backgrounds but life has a way of making us feel a little bit powerless,” she said. “Our kids, especially brown boys in America, the imagery of powerlessness is very profound. It’s important they see men like these doing great things.”
Fields is a former Lenoir County Public Schools teacher who is now the multicultural outreach director for the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America. But when he got back to Kinston in 2016, he said he felt called to help young men in Kinston.
“God put me in a leadership role to help develop something important,” Fields said. “The kids have all been phenomenal.”
He said the boys meet twice a month on a Saturday in the Jack Rountree community for mentoring sessions. They discuss STEM – Science, Techonology, Engineering and Mathematics – subjects in which Fields has experts such as doctors and scientists to describe their vocations. He also feeds the young men at these meetings and has recreation activities for them.
The program regularly serves more than two dozen boys right now. He envisions a bright future for the mentoring alliance – which includes possible expansion.
“The goal for Boys to Kings is to remain humble and allow God to design a path,” Fields said. “Whatever He sees fit, we’ll do it. We want to make sure our foundation is solid here in Kinston and then perhaps expand it throughout Eastern North Carolina."