“Step up to the plate:” Pastor, alumni seeking 1,000 mentors at Dallas school

Some community advocates are issuing a call to action to men across Dallas. They are working to recruit 1,000 men who can commit to mentoring male students at David W. Carter High School.

The initiative may sound ambitious, to some. However organizers with the new non-profit A Steady Hand and the Men of CC believe it can happen.

"I’m a proud graduate of David W. Carter High School,” said Reverend Donald Parish, Jr. as he walked through Sprague Field House with Michael Hicks.

The men are graduates of Carter High School. They are also advocates working to help draw mentors to some of Dallas Independent School District’s southern Dallas campuses.

“We need to step up to the plate as young men to be able to fill in that void,” Hicks said.

Parish and Hicks say they know mentoring can make a difference, especially in a southern Dallas community surrounded by its fair share of poverty, single-parent households, and declining campus enrollment.

"Men are not doing what we need to do in society, in general,” Parish said. “I don’t care what demographic, what tax bracket. What zip code. So, men are just not doing what they need to do.”

Back in December, Parish and Dallas ISD made national headlines when he helped recruit 600 mentors from across the community to a Dad’s Breakfast at Dade Middle School in South Dallas. The school only expected about 50 men to show up.

"Mainly what our young boys need is a pat on the back and a slow push to say keep going,” Parish said.

That’s why this week A Steady Hand and the Men of Carter CC are urging men to attend an informational meeting for mentors. It will take place in Sprague Field House.

"We want men from everywhere, who are coming with the heart to work," Parish said. "So the ask is going to be very simple. Come on campus and have lunch twice a month with your mentee. That’s the baseline of what we are asking.”

Carter High School is performing well academically and athletically. Organizers say they want the nearly 600 young men returning to campus in the Fall to have an extra sense of support when the mentoring project officially kicks off in September.

"We need to try to give them guidance, to see where do they want to go in life," Parish said.

Anyone interested in learning more about the mentoring opportunity can join the info session on Thursday, July 19, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Sprague Field House, 3701 Boulder Drive, Dallas, TX 75233. You can also RSVP at info@BeASteadyHand.org.

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