Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs is reminding the community that the “We got this” work and mentoring initiative for boys ages 12 to 16 gets underway tomorrow (Saturday, June 13) at 8 a.m. at N. 9th St. and W. Ring.
Alderwoman Coggs said she is hopeful that boys will again be ready and eager to be a part of the project, and that generous donors will again step up and provide the cash that helps provide the positive reward for the work the boys complete.
“’We got this’ provides a small amount of money to each boy for their work to clean up the neighborhood and to handle landscaping assignments,” Alderwoman Coggs said. “But the initiative is also a valuable mentoring and positive reinforcement vehicle for the boys, who very much need positive role models and experiences in their lives.”
Motivated by concern for neighborhood boys surrounded by drugs, violence and a degree of hopelessness, community mentor and leader Andre Lee Ellis started “We got this” last summer.
Ellis decided to begin the “We got this” work initiative on Saturday mornings (from 8 a.m. until noon) in the Borchert Fieldneighborhood whereby boys and teens could receive $20 for landscaping and gardening work, as well as neighborhood cleaning and other small projects. Dozens of young men — ready and willing to work — started showing up, with numbers steadily increasing each week. He put out a request on Facebook for help with donations, and people from across the community (and metro area) responded, including many who drove to the neighborhood to meet the participants and provide positive support.