First group of teens graduate from Police Mentoring Program
On July 13, the first group of teenagers participating in the Police Department’s new mentoring program celebrated their graduation from a program aimed at preparing them to become responsible adults who are capable of fulfilling their potential and effecting positive change.
The Minneapolis Police Mentoring Program (MP²) is a week-long program that exposes teenage boys to a variety of life skills designed to set them on a course to future success and community leadership. Elements of the program included preparing for the workforce, dressing for success, building confidence, and promoting respect, trust and teamwork.
The mentoring program was created and led by Officer Dennis Milner as a way to reach out to young men and help them build the skills necessary for a successful and productive life. The program, which encourages careers in public service, emphasizes civic and personal responsibility as a key to future success, both personally and for the benefit of the community.
Eleven teenage boys participated in the program this year. Officer Milner noted that his job as a School Resource Officer at Roosevelt High School provided the perfect opportunity to identify kids with leadership potential who could benefit from extra attention. Not all of this year’s participants were from Roosevelt, and Officer Milner hopes to further broaden involvement next year by asking other School Resource Officers to identify young people who would good candidates for next summer’s MP² program.
MP² benefitted from the participation of other adults who volunteered their time to help make the program meaningful for the teenaged participants. Volunteers included Chief Deputy Blair Anderson (Carver County Sheriff’s Office), Officer Anthijuan Beeks (MPD), Officer Efrem Hamilton (MPD), Officer Toddrick Kurth (MPD), Firefighter Darick Rhodes (Minneapolis Fire Department), Dennis Stockmo (Minneapolis Public Schools), Officer Roosevelt Walls (MPD) and Officer Benny Williams (St. Paul Police Department).
The graduation ceremony was held at Roosevelt High School.
Published Jul. 18, 2012