On Thursday May 19th, Make It Happen staff and participants went to Dave and Busters to reward our young men for their time spent in the program. This group of young men have been in this program for years—the trip was an opportunity to celebrate their achievements with great food and tons of fun! Pizza, ice cream, hotdogs, burgers and fries all around—it was a feast! Taking photos of the food, laughing at each other’s jokes, dancing with the music— the dinner table was filled with joy. After dinner, they headed to the arcade. They poured their concentration into the games and won tickets for many lovely prizes. A photographer came by and took a group photo — it was such a heartfelt moment that the photographer recognized the closeness of the group.

The Make It Happen program strives to give young men who have been affected by violence, a support network and a safe environment where they can heal from traumatic experiences. These young men have been in each other’s company for quite some time; although they are not related, the cohesiveness of the group has nurtured a kind of brotherhood over the years. Through the program, this group of young men displayed tremendous courage and strength to take ownership of their lives and to fulfill their manhood by adopting healthy masculinity. The program director Kenton Kirby and his staff members, who brought these young men together and guided them through their transformation, take pride in the progress that they have made. This trip is not only a celebration for their accomplishments; it is also a way for the Make It Happen team to express their gratitude for being a part of the journey that these young men have taken.

The next Make It Happen men’s group will start on June 15th at the Police Athletic League (PAL) in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. For more information, please contact Kenton Kirby by email kkirby@crownheights.org or by phone at 718-773-6886.

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