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600 Men Show Up to Mentor Boys at Texas School

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About 600 men showed up for a “Breakfast with Dad” event at a Texas middle school when officials put out a call for assistance. The school officials wanted to make sure they had enough male mentors for the boys who signed up for the program.

Officials at Billy Earl Dade Middle School planned a “Breakfast with Dad” program for their students in December. They became concerned that some of the 150 boys who signed up might not have men who would attend for them. Not wanting the boys to be left out, school officials put out a call for help. The response was overwhelming, the Washington Post reported.

While Dade Middle School officials hoped they could get about 50 men to turn out for the event, nearly 600 showed up.

“The unexpected influx of interest led the team to move the event from the cafeteria into the gymnasium so they could house more guests,” Dallas blogger Stephanie Drenka wrote. “I will never forget witnessing the young students surrounded by supportive community members. There were so many volunteers, that at times I saw young men huddled in the center of 4-5 mentors. The look of awe- even disbelief- in students’ eyes as they made their way through the crowd of ‘Dads’ was astonishing.”

The school’s principal, Tracie Washington, told those gathered for the event, “This turnout is a testament to show [what happens] when a school and a community come together.”

Planners for the event initially put out a request for 50 men to spend one hour on December 14 to provide mentoring for their students. Many of the 600 who arrived for the event were volunteering for the first time.

Dallas ISD Assistant Police Chief Jason Rodriguez was one of those. “Words cannot describe the impact mentoring youth can have on both you and your mentee,” he tweeted. “Powerful to see a community of fellow men and fathers come together to wrap their arms around or young men. Thank you for having me out.”

Event planner Kristina Chäade’ Dove is a senior manager for Big Thought, a non-profit organization that works to improve educational opportunities for students. Dove summed up the event in a post on her Facebook page.

“All honor goes to those 600 men who showed up on that day to give America and the world hope for the future,” she wrote. “It’s because of your time, service and intentionality that we have been able to shine an international spotlight on the goodness and care for others that the majority of mankind possesses.”

Dallas ISD officials said that after the success of this program, they are looking at expanding Breakfast with Dad to more schools.