PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WRPI) — In a program full of fun, bonding, and a bit of tough love, “Princes to Kings” is ready to send Providence teens back to school this fall.
“Our goal is to keep kids from dropping out of school and continuing on with secondary education,” Director Kobi Dennis said.
The boys, all ages 12-18 years old, were handpicked from three different local schools.
“I went to all the schools individually and recruited them,” Dennis said. “They came into orientations. They came in with their parents, they had to sign up and really buy into the program before being selected. There were hundreds of boys trying to get into this program.”
Roger Williams University and Brown University co-sponsor the six-week program alongside the South Side Boys & Girls Club.
“We try to give them all the components of becoming a man,” Dennis said. “I try to teach them all the different components I was taught… education, employment, respect, honor and just being a good person”
The goal of the program is to provide summer mentorship to the boys, but also expand their horizons.
“We went surfing and so for all of us, it was our first time, and we killed it,” Teacher Scott Lapham said.
“I would’ve never done surfing before, and then we do camping, all types of stuff, field trips… Go on submarines. I’ve never been on a submarine before, only in movies, they are showing me new things I can experience in life,” Mentee Ernest Eesiah said.
The program is also designed to instill life lessons.
“It opens up a lot of doors that normally you don’t have a lot of access too. Like this book we’re reading here at book club, it talks about the college experience,” Mentee Jesus Torres said.
“I want them to be a product of their education, not their environment,” Dennis added. “My goal is to get them to not believe all the naysayers and prove people wrong.”