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100 Black Men mentor youths at school 
Inspire students at North Springs Charter H.S.

February 18, 2011
NORTH FULTON Twenty-six members of 100 Black Men of North Metro spent Tuesday, Feb. 1, in classrooms at North Springs Charter High School, inspiring and encouraging students and officially kicking off Black History Month at NSCHS.

"100 Black Men began because professional black men wanted to provide service as mentors and educators; especially because very few men are visible in education," said John Caine, a Sandy Springs resident, active mentor and education supporter whose two children are NSCHS graduates.

For Caine, an electrical engineer with an MBA in marketing and finance, "being in the classroom is what I love. I'm really a closet teacher. I tell students to recognize their dreams, work towards them and never let anyone take their dream away. Their dream must be their own, not their parents, not their coaches."

Caine's passion for mentoring was echoed by Brian Hooper, another member who graduated from North Springs in 1995. He is studying for his upcoming bar exam.

"I've learned there are two kinds of people - those who say our youth need us and that's it, and others who say let me do something about it," Hooper said.

Hooper also mentors regularly at North Springs. 

"I want to expose students to all their possibilities; there are so many," he said. "When I was in high school, I didn't fully realize that."

Dwight Kelly, the chapter's president and a retired pharmaceutical executive, told students in his session that "it's important to stay in school, work hard and find your passion. If you love what you're doing, it's never a job." 

To senior Justin Fisher, who will be attending Boston's Berklee School of Music, this was music to his ears. 

"Mr. Kelly had a lot of good information about career choices for the future, and I know what he means about finding your passion," Fisher said. 

Tracey Enright, NSCHS math department chairwoman, was appreciative her students had the opportunity to hear from the 100 Black Men members. In her classroom, Kelly and Caine also gave real-world examples of how math is needed in careers today.

"All my students benefited," Enright said.

100 Black Men was founded in New York City in 1963. Today, the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. has 116 chapters and more than 10,000 members who positively impact the lives of more than 100,000 youth annually. The Sandy Springs Education Force is a partner with 100 Black Men of North Metro.

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