Eastlake Male Youth Initiative Welcomes the Class of 2022


ATLANTA, GA, October 10, 2021 — The Truth Teller Inc. is proud to announce over 30 students have enrolled in the third year of its Eastlake Male Youth Initiative program. The kickoff event for the 2021-2022 program year was held on Saturday, October 9, 2021.


“Over the past three years, the Eastlake Male Youth Initiative has steadily evolved and grown, with almost half our students returning year over year,” said Reverend Kenneth G. Torrence, the CEO and founder of The Truth Teller Inc., and founder and Program Director of the Eastlake Male Youth Initiative. “Along with our staff, mentors and ambassadors of EMYI, I look forward to meeting and mentoring this new class as they begin their journey.”


The students, representing primarily DeKalb County Schools, participated in activities over two days held at The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church and Browns Mill Golf Course in Atlanta. Students learned about the program and got to know one another as part of the kickoff weekend. The session on Saturday is the first of several during the next school year where the students will develop leadership skills, connect with business and civic leaders, explore their history, and provide a positive impact on the community.


In a video greeting previously recorded, Dr. William E. Flippin, Sr., Senior Pastor of The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, told students, “This program has been created in order to raise leaders. We are expecting great and mighty things from each of you young men … This is an opportunity for you to take full advantage.” You can watch Dr. Flippin's message here.



Students were also treated to an energetic and dynamic motivational speech from Mr. Gregory Hammons, CEO and founder of Forever Phase, LLC. “Never stop believing in yourself to grow and become better,” Hammons urged students. “If it is to be, it must begin with me,” Hammons added. “This mantra is a crucial first step to make, whatever your dreams are.” Hammons also gave a powerful spoken word performance entitled, “Dear Brothers.” You can watch Mr. Hammons' speech here.




One of the functional outcomes of EMYI is to connect participants with strong, adult role models they can bond with, learn from and aspire to emulate. Students were introduced to a few of the returning mentors for the 2021-2022 program year.





In addition, EMYI welcomed its new class of student ambassadors on Saturday. Ambassadors are undergraduate college students from Morehouse College who provide instructional and mentorship support for students.



Students were lucky to enjoy a performance from Music From the Heart owner Justin Clay, and violinist, Corbin Allen, during Saturday’s activities.


On Sunday, students traveled by chartered bus to Browns Mill Golf Course, a municipal golf course operated by the City of Atlanta. There, students met with Mr. Willie Burkes, golf coach at Morehouse College. Burkes told students, “Golf is about temperament—how serious you are about what you’re doing.” Burkes added, “Golf is parallel to life. If you don't go straight, you'll get into trouble ... Always hit the ball straight.”



Students proceeded to the range where they learned about the types of golf clubs, and practiced the fundamental golf mechanics: grip, stance, swing; along with game rules and course etiquette. Students also met Mr. Tyrone Swain, Assistant Director of the Browns Mill Golf Course. Swain encouraged students, "You're never given a dream or a wish without the power to make it come true." Watch EMYI students as they learn the game of golf here.



EMYI is a free program and open to African American males 10-16 years old. The program offers interactive leadership and character development workshops; team building and fitness activities; cultural and historical field trips; community outreach; and, one-on-one mentoring opportunities. Students meet every 2nd Saturday from October 9, 2021 - May 14, 2022. A commencement and awards program is scheduled for June 4, 2022, to recognize students for their achievements during the program year.



“This program [EMYI] is about showing you and unlocking the greatness that is within all of you,” Torrence said. “This greatness has to be nurtured and cultivated. This is what we are here to do.”



For more information on the Eastlake Male Youth Initiative, visit www.thetruthteller.org, email info@the-truth-teller.com or call 678-884-3219.


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About The Truth Teller Inc.

The Truth Teller Inc. (TTT) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity with the mission to provide support and uplift for at-risk youth. Our partnerships with local Atlanta churches and community organizations have helped establish the A.P. Torrence Youth Leadership Academy and Eastlake Male Youth Initiative—programs that are truly responsive to the special needs of young black males. TTT is accomplishing its mission through mentoring, education programs and workshops designed to reach, teach and empower; thereby creating a culture shift and living legacy of future African American male leaders.