Birmingham nonprofit encouraging youth to join extracurriculars

Mentoring program looks to keep kids out of trouble
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With youth violent crime rising, the City of Birmingham is desperate to find ways to help re-inspire young men and women.

Today’s youth have plenty of stressors with more technology and social media than ever before. The founder of a nonprofit says they need a positive outlet to help keep them on the right path.

“Right now, if you’re not getting your kids involved in some type of extracurricular activities, the internet is gonna be their influence,” said Leaveil Binion.

He is the founder of Cultivate 4 or C4 Mentoring, a program for middle and high schoolers, created to inspire, empower and encourage young men to discover their purpose.

Binion says while technology can be great tool for educational purposes, young people can get caught up in the negativity of it.

“They need to be around as many positive influences as possible and I think monopolizing their time with sports, things of that nature -- it’s been a huge help with me and my kids,” he added.

He says they are involved with different sports, arts, and clubs. Extracurriculars are huge in keeping the youth on the right path.

“I think that is one of the key elements to try and deter your kid away from any of the nonsense,” said Binion. “Try to find something that they’re interested in and that’s what we do at C4. We talk to the boys about thing they are interested in and our goal is a progression. It goes from interest to passion to purpose.”

Binion is also calling on parents to be present, like getting involved in PTA or showing up for the different activities and programs. He says the young men and women need to feel supported while pursuing their passions and interests.

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