Mentoring program helps youth reach full potential

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BENSON, Neb. (WOWT) -- With the goal of helping students reach their full potential, the 100 Black Men of Omaha Mentoring Program in Nebraska is on mission.

Two Benson High brothers are proof the program works.

Tyglenn and Tynatamen Walker seemed to have all the makings of great basketball players. The competition wasn't just for bragging rights; basketball was their way out.

"We was riding on basketball, riding on it," they said.

But this year, their dreams of playing college hoops were shattered.

"We didn't make the team," said Tynatamen.

"We didn't get the opportunity to play our last year like we wanted," said Tyglenn.

The news devastated the twins, but it didn't destroy them. They owe that in part to Ed Stevens. He knew their missed shot wasn't the end.

“I know I'm proud of you guys,” Stevens told the twins.

For the last four years, the 100 Black Men Mentor and Entrepreneur program has been meeting with, encouraging and exposing them to a world of potential.

“It's really about mentoring and helping the young people grow,” Stevens said.

To him, they're family.

“We have holiday events they come out,” Stevens said.

"You get serious about your career after you see what these people do," Tyglenn said.

Stevens introduced them to current business leaders in the community.

“He really persuades us to meet these people and step into these types of environments,” said Tyglenn.

For the Walker twins, Stevens is a role model.

"I want to be just like Mr. Ed someday,” Tynatamen said.

“It's important that kids see the right things. Anything they see, that's what they're going to be,” said Stevens.

That's the 100 Black Men motto and since the Walker twins have been a part of the organization, they've spent more time studying and focused on their education.

"I walked in a kid, and came out a man," Tynatamen said.

They still spend a little time on the court, but don't let their game face fool you; this is just for fun.

“Looking forward to college. That's what I'm looking for [to] get my career started,” he said.

They know their best shot now is success in school. The Walker twins aren't the only success story, as the 100 Black Men Mentoring program has a 100 percent graduation rate.

Read the original version of this article at wowt.com.