With a mission to improve the lives of teenage African American males through Christian teachings, educational seminars and community involvement, our impact is felt when a young man decides to make the right choice and when a mentor inspires change in individuals and in the community. The Society of Gentlemen is a cause-driven mentoring program that is for teenage African American males in Middle and High School. African American males have suffered disproportionately from social ills more than any other group. These have included education, housing, employment and health care, among others. African Americans are more likely to be victimized by crime than are other groups; this leads to the dramatic rates at which African American males have come under some form of criminal justice supervision.These consequences not only affect individual victims and offenders, but families and communities as well. We believe that in order to bring about a meaningful change in individuals and communities, we must first focus on changing the lives of our teenage African American males. Our successes will be measured by how well we engage individuals and communities in our four areas of focus.
Society of Gentlemen
The Society of Gentlemen Mentoring Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure that every teenage African American male, regardless of income or background, has the opportunity to succeed in life.
The mission of The Society of gentlemen is to improve the lives of teenage African American males through biblical teachings, educational seminars and mentoring programs.
The concept of the Society of Gentlemen Mentoring program begin when Bishop Jack C. Vaughn, pastor of Evangelistic Center International Ministries in Kansas City, Kansas, noticed the absence of a program for the teenage young men that attended the church. He shared his vision with his youngest son, Justin Vaughn, and assigned him the responsibility of putting a team together to put action to the call.Justin Vaughn sought out six of his closest friends to help him carry out the vision of his father. These individuals were business and ministry leaders and became the founders of the organization. Their names were Damian Caldwell, Melvin Goolsby, Danniel Porter, Erik Walker, Garron Haynes Jr., and David Harrell.These Christian men envisioned an organization that would develop programs designed to enhance the spirituality, intelligence, and quality of life for African American males and other minorities. Concerned about the future of their inner city communities, they dedicated a number of resources toward community development.The Board of Directors of the Society of Gentlemen chose one young man who showed great leadership qualities to highlight as their first inductee into the mentoring program. In order to be inducted, the young man had to spend a series of weekends with the Board for in-depth mentoring. As a reward, the inductee received a new suit, dress shirt, necktie, belt, dress socks, and dress shoes. The momentum gained from presenting this young man to his peers and the entire church family set the stage for the impact of the mentoring program to reverberate beyond the church walls.Today the program has grown to over thirty mentees from all parts of the Kansas City area. The program continues to positively influence the lives of young men while changing community’s one neighborhood at a time.
The Society of Gentlemen is committed to the empowerment of teenage males and the enhancement of the African American community.
Areas of Focus
Development of disciples by teaching them the Word of God; thereby strengthening, establishing and equipping young men for active service in the Body of Christ.
Giving back and providing support to the community.
Sharing knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster personal and professional growth.
Transmitting accumulated knowledge from one generation to another, equipping a young man with specific knowledge, skills or abilities that can be applied immediately upon completion.
Elgin Hood Jr. became a member of Society of Gentlemen in 2009 while entering 6th grade at Northwest Middle School. Society of Gentlemen mentoring program has been a blessing to my son Elgin and our family. Elgin grew up in a God-fearing home with his two-parent’s and three siblings but; growing up in an urban community, children are exposed to a lot of things that could be detrimental to a young, impressionable black male.
Society of Gentlemen was there to make a positive impact at a crucial time in Elgin’s life. Their mentorship helped solidify the values we were teaching Elgin at home. The Mentors were positive successful young men who Elgin could look up to, and possibly pattern his life after. Society of Gentlemen provided a variety of authentic, relevant teaching sessions. Those sessions consisted of college visits, tying ties, car maintenance, financial management, field trips and entrepreneurship training.
As Elgin prepares to exit the program to head to college, we can attribute a large part of his success to the Society of Gentlemen program. I pray that God will continue to bless this program so that they can be a blessing to other young men growing up in our community. Thank you Society of Gentlemen for being instrumental in our son’s success.
My name is Dana Haynes the parent of Jaylon Reed, we have been blessed to be a part of Society of gentlemen. The program has given Jaylon a chance to fellowship with other young men by belonging to a group with positive endeavors. I am a single mom who knows it takes a village to raise a child and my village is the Society of gentlemen.
Jaylon is the youngest member of the group so far and has been given the opportunity to participate in college tours, charity works, educational competitions and leadership. The society of gentlemen is a place where young men can come together and have a voice to discuss many topics and meet an abundance of great people.
Society of Gentlemen has been a blessing for my son, Marquis. They have imparted wisdom of how to carry yourself as a young man. They have also been great examples by demonstrating the characteristics of being a gentlemen. He has gained practical knowledge of life skills in finances, career choices, and gaining insight on the importance of dressing for success.
This mentoring program has given him valuable work experience all while serving in ministry. He has been in the youth choir, then moved to the praise team. He was also trained to work with the media department assisting with the live-stream broadcast.
Society of Gentlemen is a mentoring program for all young men to gain life skills, enhance their walk with God and become productive men in the world. The mentors are investing time, knowledge, and friendships to impact the next generation.
Our son Isaiah Jackson is a mentee in the Society of Gentlemen Mentoring Program (SOG). Isaiah loves SOG and has learned a lot from seeing young men who are willing to mentor others. As Isaiah grew older we realized that it was important for him to develop relationships with other males that we can trust will lead him in the right direction. The Mentors of SOG are committed to the success of every mentee involved in the program. Isaiah thrives in environment and with people that are consistent and SOG has provided that consistency in his life. He is comfortable with his mentors and loves the big brother relationship they have with him. Isaiah is open to receiving love, instruction and correction from them. He has developed his strong leadership skills under the guidance of SOG. They are great examples of how young men, should dress, speak and carry themselves. Society of Gentlemen is a blessing to our family. Isaiah is growing up to be an awesome young man and we contribute some of who he is to the Society of Gentlemen.
A generous donation of $400.00 was presented to Steffon Fassett on June 26, 2013 to help him attend the 2013 ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championship. “The Society of Gentlemen Mentoring Program is excited and happy to be able to make this contribution to Steffon as he continues to pursue excellence in his sport and craft,” said program founder Bishop Jack Vaughn.“Society of Gentlemen continues to develop plans for the future scholarship and award offerings,” explains Danniel Porter, program Treasurer. Society of gentlemen is committed to enhancing the lives of our teenage boys, and because of that commitment we will continue to support positive avenues our mentees pursue. The funds donated by Society of Gentlemen enabled Steffon to participate in the tournament.Society of Gentlemen works tirelessly year after year on events and fund raisers, these events include the annual Family and Friends Bowling Tournament. The proceeds generated from these events fund the annual leadership awards banquet.
Thank You Letter
On behalf of my family and I, I would like to thank you for all of your support and your generous donation that helped me make it to the national wrestling tournament in Fargo, ND. Society of Gentlemen means a lot to me and my family and we appreciate all that you have done. Words cannot explain how grateful we are for your help. Being a member of Team Missouri means a lot to me and the possibility of not being able to represent my state in the tournament due to high participation fees was a reality I didn’t want to face. Thanks to the Society of Gentlemen Mentoring Program and your donation I am now able to participate as a member of the Missouri National Wrestling Team and compete alongside other members as we help represent Missouri to the best of our abilities. Not only am I thankful for your donation but I am also thankful for all of the things you have done and are doing still in the community. Thank you for being an inspiration and mentor to me and other teenage boys and helping mold us into men.
Steffon R. Fasset