“I’ve been involved with DeKalb Kids Project Inc. since 2015 and I love it! I first met Diijon and Tiijon DaCosta at Kennesaw State University and they later became my mentors. I saw what they were doing and I wanted to do the same. I will never forget the time I volunteered with DKP participating in the community cleanup. During the event, I met a few young men who were volunteering and saw how Diijon and Tiijon were engaging the young men. Suddenly, Diijon put me on the spot and said, “Hey Rodney, talk to this young man he is going through the same thing you went through.” Although it forced me to think on the spot I enjoyed the opportunity to help give direction to the young man. I love DKP! I later took the opportunity to ask questions about DKP to see where it was going, and I was instantly drawn to it. Mentorship is my passion and it is near and dear to my heart. I saw the exact thing in Diijon and Tiijons’ hearts and I couldn’t let the opportunity slip away.
I chose mentorship because I don’t want to see people make the same mistakes I did. What I have to offer to the youth is simply myself. I genuinely care about people and respect everyone. If I can help someone avoid a situation, I will. For example, If I know that the stove is hot because I burned myself from touching it, I could not bear to watch someone else do the same exact thing, to get burned in the same place. Your path is there to help the next person, to be the voice of caution. DKP is A1 like the Steaksauce!”
Process: $45 background check, attend a mandated orientation, commit to spending minimum 3 hours weekly with assigned mentee, complete a follow up spreadsheets on all mentees, and follow all guidelines for mentee code of conduct. The mentorship program is a direct product of the three main focus areas. (Home, Community, School) The ongoing communication with the parents to engage the child, determine interests and passions for the communication, and implementation through community events and involvements. The overall success of the program is measured by the inspired influence on the child in all aspects with an emphasizing the importance of gaining and applying knowledge.