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Published on : Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Steve Harvey, popular television and radio personality, best-selling author and philanthropist, kicks off his 9th annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men National Camp today. With more than 220 fatherless teenage boys from around the country in attendance at The Rock Ranch in The Rock, Georgia, the week-long camp is the largest youth outreach program offered by the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation.
Harvey is among a group of hands-on male mentors that includes community leaders, members of the military and businessmen, including Steve Joyce CEO of Choice Hotels, the program’s first and largest sponsor. Mentorship activities, such as military-style conditioning, fishing, motivational speaking, sports, engineering games and education guidance, aim to equip the young men to overcome adolescent pressures, instill respect, teach helpful life skills and introduce problem-solving techniques. Concurrently, a Parent Program offers the teens’ mothers discussions and educational sessions on family, teenage issues, wellness activities, financial literacy, and applying to college.
“I am indebted the role models who donate their personal time to be here as well as the sponsors that have enabled us to host this camp,” said Steve Harvey. “Nine years in, we are seeing many former mentees attend and finish college when they could have taken a very different path. Instead, they have grown into fine and productive young men. This would not have been possible without enduring support from the business community.”
In addition to providing complimentary hotel stays for the mothers, guardians of participants, staff and volunteers at nearby Choice Hotels properties, the company has donated more than $300,000 to the Foundation through its Choice Privileges loyalty rewards program. Funds are raised through loyalty member point donations which Choice Hotels matches dollar for dollar up to $75,000 annually. This contribution assists the Foundation with expenses, including roundtrip airfare for the mentees as well as their mothers and guardians.
“Every young person, regardless of their background, should be given the essential tools to develop their life skills. This camp helps through fostering mentorship and positive influences,” said Steve Joyce. “While early intervention is key, Choice Hotels believes mentorship should continue through adulthood. As a company, we encourage it for our associates and support it in the communities in which we serve.”
Created by Harvey in 2009, the Annual Mentoring Program selects fatherless teens, age 13-18, from a large pool of applicants from across the United States. By way of the national camp and regional programs, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men has impacted more than 1,500 youths and continues to grow.
In addition to Choice Hotels, the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation also receives support from the U.S. Army and AT&T through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness.