Inner strength focus of Pathways’ Young Men’s Summit

GEORGETOWN — Mind over matter and strength from within were focus pillars for several hundred high school students at the 2019 Young Men’s Summit.

Presented by Pathways to Success Inc., the daylong event held April 11 at Crossroad Community Church near Georgetown carried a “Raising the Bar for Success” theme.

“Open your ears, open your hearts and minds,” said Pathways to Success Executive Director Faye Blake in her welcoming remarks.

“You never know when you are going to get a chance to actually show how great you are or how strong you are. This is all about being strong.”

“It is strength, not so much street strength, but strength that comes from within,” Ms. Blake added.

Student attendees from Sussex Tech, Seaford, Cape Henlopen, Milford and several other schools in the region heard from Crossroad Community Church Pastor Rick Betts, Delaware State Police, Delaware National Guard and others, including Pathways in-school program coordinators.

“Where do you find the strength to be able to go to your future? Find it on the inside and make sure God is there. You will be happier, more successful. It will change your course,” said Pastor Betts. “You can mock it, make fun of it and you can miss it totally, or you can be a part of stepping into what God has in his plan.”

“It is time to grow up. How strong are you? If you don’t have a plan. It’s time for all of you to prioritize,” said Jacques Bowe, Pathways to Success coordinator at Sussex Tech. “We want to make sure when you all leave here you at least have the tools to make some informed decisions.”
Lake Forest senior Joshua Kennedy, a first-time summit attendee, took note of the speakers’ messages.

Lake Forest senior Joshua Kennedy finds himself in the spotlight
with Pathways to Success administrator Jacques Bowe at the
Young Men’s Summit.

“I learned that no matter where you think you are now, there is always room for improvement, and also the word ‘strength’ has a totally more different definition than you think,” said Joshua, who plans to attend Drexel University to pursue athletic training, photography and hopefully play on the lacrosse team.

“I also think in my mind that even if you have friends here, at school, around your town and around your state they are not going to be around you later in your life.”

This was the fourth Young Men’s Summit held at the Crossroad Community Church.

It was the third summit for 18-year-old Deshawn Potts, a Cape Henlopen senior who leaves for the Army in August. He has been in the Delaware National Guard since February.

“It (the summit) actually helped me by proving that young men, young black men actually have a possible chance of a future instead of just being on the streets and doing everything …,” said Deshawn. “It gives us an opportunity to be able to become something that we want to be.”

A non-profit founded by Ms. Blake in 2006, Pathways to Success is structured to prepare youth, adults and families for success in life through innovative and creative approaches in mentoring, education and outreach to inform, educate and empower.

Pathways, which specializes in assisting at-risk students, has a 98-percent high school graduation rate.

“Each one of you has potential,” said Ms. Blake. “I want you dig in and choose your friends wisely. Understand that you are better than the circumstances or those wannabe friends that want to pull you down.”

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