Corey Martin – Breaking the Cycle

February 20, 2018
  • Corey Martin’s passion for encouragement is evident the moment you meet him – especially if any of his Teen Program members are around.  It’s a big smile, a hug, and a talk about something happening in their lives.  This father and natural mentor is behind a new focus for the club to reach a group afterschool programs traditionally lose just as they hit the ages they need us most. 

    Breaking the Cycle – A Teen Empowerment Program” launched as a weekly program for middle and high school student with speakers from the FBI, the medical community, counselors and others focused on topics including teamwork; peer pressure; drugs & alcohol; conflict resolution and smart decision-making; self-identity; speaking & communication skills; social media mistakes; and finding a job after school.    

    “Parents, grandparents and family friends brought teens to us this summer and now the schools are totally on board as well,” offers Corey. “They need this kind of direction so much.  By the time they hit Middle School, so many of our African-American kids are floating. They’ve got no weight in the water – just floating. A lot of times they’re not getting a real diploma but just a certificate when they walk that graduation stage. No idea what they’re doing next. They need to know someone’s investing in them – they matter.” 

    The Mobile native and nurse anesthetist came home from Gainesville a few years ago with his family of four and a desire to continue the kind of mentoring he learned volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters during his college days at Samford.  “Accountability is everything. We’ve partnered with the local principals   – tracking these kids through their report cards.  We look at discipline and attendance records to see where someone really needs an extra push. Or where we’re succeeding – that’s what we’re all about.” 

    Plans are underway now to partner with Mike Gottfried’s successful Team Focus, and to launch a breakfast club at Fairhope Intermediate School.  “There’s so much more we can do – with financial support and volunteers.  When these kids stop walking in the door every afternoon at the club… is when they need us most.”

Community Volunteers Making a DifferencePancake Breakfast 2019