FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Fort Wayne United is working to turn boys into men, and show them how their choices will affect their futures. That's why they're holding Choose Success Initiative events for boys between 14 and 18 Thursday and Friday.
"Don't give up. Don't let nobody persuade you to do wrong."
That's the message boys of Fort Wayne United walked away with after Thursday's events. The morning started with the opportunity to see men not much older than them be sentenced for their crimes.
"They were surprised that they knew someone that sat in the court. So, they were surprised they knew someone that made poor decisions," said Kweku Akan, a leader of Fort Wayne United.
Judge Wendy Davis told the boys those poor decisions will land them in her court room, but they have options for the future.
The next stop was the fire station.
"They can just get called out at any time and they don't even know what the situation is until they get there," said Antwone Washington after listening to local firefighters talk about the demands of the job.
Washington is a senior, and he's interested in rapping after high school. But, the fire station was a glimpse into how hard men have to work to accomplish their goals. That's what Akan wants all of the boys in Fort Wayne United to understand.
"Many young people today look at manhood in terms of what kind of car you drive, what kind of gold you have, what kind of bling bling or diamonds you wear. We need to make sure that they understand that those are not traditional manhood values," he said.
The group finished the afternoon at Ivy Tech, talking about issues they face right now and taking a tour of the campus.
It was a day learning what crime can lead to, and seeing that college and a career are just around the corner.
Fort Wayne United will continue Choose Success Initiative events Friday morning.