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Mentors Expose At-Risk Teens to Positive, Historic Experiences.

Buffalo, NY, November 04, 2014 --( On October 12th, the M.A.N. Program (which stands for “mentoring and nurturing”) of Buffalo, NY brought a group of at-risk high school students to an historic NFL game. Four chaperones shuttled sixteen Bennett High students to the Ralph Wilson Stadium to watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Patriots, but they also stood witness to the history of the team changing ownership after fifty-four years. The M.A.N. Program will be taking another group of students to the November 9th Bills-Chiefs game.

The October 12th game was historic for many reasons. There was a change in ownership to the Pegula family. Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls sang the national anthem. And the Ralph Wilson Stadium had yet another addition to unveil on its signature towers.

The forty tickets (twenty for each game) were donated by All Pro Linebacker Brandon Spikes who wanted to make sure that underprivileged children who are the relatives of formerly or currently incarcerated individuals get the chance to have such a fun and normally unobtainable experience. Not only did Spikes provide tickets but also food, snack, and beverage vouchers for all. Another Bennett support service program that works closely with the MAN Program, Hillside Family of Agencies, offered assistance with transportation for some of the students.

For many Buffalonians, attending Bills games as a teen is a cherished memory. Football is a pervading part of American culture - and the culture of Buffalo - so attending one's first game can be a monumental experience. The M.A.N. Program wanted to share this positive memory with economically disadvantaged teens who would not normally get the opportunity to attend a game. This is an important part of mentoring: showing teens how to enjoy the benefits of society in a positive way.

The M.A.N. Program offers a series of character-building curriculum to students who are at risk for dropping out of school and getting matriculated into the justice system or who would become some other unenviable statistic. The vast majority of M.A.N. Program participants grow up economically disadvantaged, in unstable family or housing situations, and in neighborhoods with high crime rates, severe educational deficiencies and high instances of violence.

The participants from Bennett High School have benefited from the presence of mentors, particularly the M.A.N. Program mentors, who come from similar backgrounds and can relate directly to the students. The M.A.N. Program works with any school in the city of Buffalo to provide tutoring, court advocacy, mentoring, character-building curriculum, and referrals.

Contact Information:

The M.A.N. Program

Katherine Russell

(716) 491-2092

Contact via Email

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Date:Nov 4, 2014
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