Male Mentoring: Making A Difference

The Male Mentoring Program’s Quacho Allison and Jeramie Parker.Photo by Nesossi Studios.

The Male Mentoring Program’s Quacho Allison and Jeramie Parker.
Photo by Nesossi Studios.

By Michelle Johnson –

June is the month that reminds us of dads, and the important roles they play in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, for some of Fort Bend’s male youth, there’s no dad providing guidance, leadership and support at home. That’s where the Fort Bend County Partnership for Youth’s Male Mentoring Program comes in.

The History

In 1996, counsel specializing in work with juveniles spoke in open court stating a need for help with kids who are not hardened criminals but had challenges in their homes. The question counsel posed was simple: How do these at-risk kids get the support they need to become productive, successful adults?

That question led to a group of concerned public officials developing a community-based program that would focus on this need. As a result, the Fort Bend Partnership for Youth, Inc. was created in late 1996. In October 2004, paid staff members were appointed to the Juvenile Probation Department to specifically work on a variety of programs in this initiative including the Male Mentoring Program. Initially funded by a grant from the state, the Fort Bend Partnership for Youth programs are now completely funded by Fort Bend County.

Focusing on At-Risk Youth

The Male Mentoring Program focuses on providing young men within the Texas Juvenile Justice Probation Department interaction with positive adult male role models. These young men typically do not have a father figure in the home, have committed crimes that are non-violent, non-sexual type offenses and are deemed at risk of further delinquency.

Mary Gready, Special Programs Coordinator, explained, “The program was designed to have paid staff with community volunteers joining in.   Within a group setting, volunteers get to know the boys in a non-forced way.  When the young men finish the program, they are matched with an adult male mentor for one-on-one aftercare.”

Quacho Allison says that equine-based activities are beneficial to the program.

Quacho Allison says that equine-based activities are beneficial to the program.

A Commitment to Service

Services to juveniles commenced in February of 2008 and are currently led by two paid staff members,  Jeramie Parker and Quacho Allison. Prior to joining the program, both men held positions in the Justice System as Detention Officers. These dedicated men have families of their own but requested this responsibility and were transferred internally to the Male Mentoring Program.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” said Parker.  “I began my volunteer service when I was 19 with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program working with at-risk kids.  After I returned from active duty military service, I knew that I wanted to continue this type of community involvement. This program is my life.”

Allison agrees with his co-worker. “I look at these kids and realize I could have been in the same situation. This experience has made me realize how lucky I am. I value the relationship I have with my own children even more.  This position is never just a job.”

Jeramie Parker and Bandit.

Jeramie Parker and Bandit.

With the leadership and guidance of Parker and Allison, the Male Mentoring Program offers these young men many gifts. They are taught life skills including household skills, budgeting and etiquette.  They participate in group recreation activities such as basketball, football, softball and fishing.  The participants of the program also receive instruction on future life requirements such as obtaining a job. They practice participating in mock interviews, completing employment applications and how to conduct themselves when meeting with potential employers.  The facilities of the Fort Bend Public Library are utilized as well as more relaxed atmospheres for discussions and instruction.

Consistent, Comprehensive, Caring

The Male Mentoring Program is made available to these at-risk children and parents 24 hours a day. According to Parker, “We are there to answer that cry or solve a problem whenever they need us. We can intervene before problems progress.”

The program consists of a three day per week schedule. The first two days are group sessions with participation from all of the young men, and the third day is more individualized attention focusing on educational needs. The staff members attend meetings at school to address any problems or special tutorial requirements that may need attention.

Becoming Involved

Currently, the Male Mentoring Program needs adult male volunteers over the age of 21 to assist in the mentoring process. Volunteers can commit as much or as little time as they choose, and the reward of helping mold these young men into productive citizens is beyond compare.

If you are an adult male over the age of 21 and would like to volunteer, contact Mary Gready, Special Programs Coordinator, at 281-633-7317. For additional information, visit