After Pandemic, Tillman Pledges to Restore Dolton 149’s Male Youth Summit (Calumet City, IL) — One of the causalities of the coronavirus pandemic at Dolton School District 149 was the suspension of its annual Male Youth Summit, but the district’s Board of Education president, Wilbur Tillman, has vowed to restore the summit with the help of a new state grant.
For seven years, officials at the south suburban district would recruit nearly two-dozen distinguished male mentors, such as a Cook County judge, a retired Chicago Police sergeant, businessmen and other leaders, to the district for evening-long summit to inspire and guide nearly 200 elementary and middle school males attending to aim high personally and professionally in their lives, according to Tillman.
“The young men in Dolton School District 149 are valuable to our communities and society,” said Tillman. “The purpose of the Male Youth Summit has been to empower our young men to know their worth, guide them, mentor them, build upon their self-esteem, and always demonstrate respect for their fellow brother.”
The 2019 Male Youth Summit was last one held before the pandemic struck. At the 2019 event, 19 adult facilitators hosted break-out symposiums throughout the Middle School that included topics, such as: How to Conduct Yourself if Stopped by the Police and Know Your Constitutional Rights, What is the Successful Path to College and Career Readiness? and How to Address Conflict with Peers, and Appropriate Use of Social Media.
Now armed with a $150,000 grant approved by the Illinois General Assembly in early January for Dolton 149, Tillman wants the district to use a portion of that funding to relaunch the annual summit.
At Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting on January 25th, the board voted to instruct the superintendent, Dr. Maureen White, to develop a full “violence interruption” and “community development” program with the new funding. Planning for the summit would fall under the superintendent’s program development.
Also at the January 25th meeting, the board’s Vice President, Lolita C. Liggons, voiced support for a female youth summit, too, an idea that Tillman backs.
“With our Male Youth Summit model, the district has the experience and knowledge capital to develop a similar summit for girls, too,” said Tillman. “I enthusiastically applaud Mrs. Liggons’ recommendation.”
After Pandemic, Tillman Pledges to Restore Dolton 149’s Male Youth Summit