Youth who live in Springhill Lake in Greenbelt say they are grateful for the free mentoring programs offered by husband-and-wife team Brian and Camille Butler.
Jarrell Jefferson, 14, of Springhill Lake in Greenbelt said the programs, which include community projects and field trips, have helped to broaden his horizons.
‘‘I do look up to [Mr. Butler] as an older role model because he’s always trying to [help us] become better people. He’s always encouraging us,” Jefferson said.
Greenbelt resident Patricia Clark, 14, said youth in Springhill Lake could use more people like Brian.
‘‘Springhill Lake is a very big area. He’s limited in how many people he can help,” Clark said.
Camille, 30, and Brian, 32, who lived in Springhill Lake Apartments in 1999, said they created the mentoring programs to enrich, educate and instill respect in young peoples’ lives through field trips, community service projects and group discussions. Brian said the lack of black role models in the youth’s homes prompted him to start a mentoring program.
‘‘I knew just for that simple fact that I was an example. Positive or negative, it is really important for youth to see a black male in a positive light,” Brian said.
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