Preparing Our Youth for THEIR Futures – Brionna Greer and a New Mentor Group at Dugan Best Recreation Center
2020 has not been an easy year for teens. Unable to attend school in person, the heightened divide in our country, not to mention the normal stressors teens deal with throughout a year like social media, bullying, and peer pressure; our youth have experienced more than ever before.
Brionna Greer an Owensboro High School grad and current graduating senior at Kentucky State University has been a light for the youth in our community. She started a mentor group called Breaking the Cycle for youth ages 9 through 17 to inspire young boys and girls to go after his/her dreams and prepare for the future.
Breaking the Cycle mentor group started in August of 2019. The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Dugan Best Recreation Center. They have 13 members and are determined to grow. Brionna said the group split into two age groups, 9-13 and 14-17 to discuss age appropriate goals and lessons.
When asked why she feels the mentor group was needed, Brionna stated, “I see violence within our teens, death by gun violence, and just not smart decisions being made daily that affect their future”. She went further to say, she wants to remind our youth to create a goal, and help them discover the steps needed to achieve that goal. Whether that goal is college, tech school, or employment opportunities out of high school, Brionna is working with members of the group and our community pushing them toward success each meeting.
Some of the experiences Brionna has offered group members so far, include helping each create an elevator pitch for his/herself which is a 30 second pitch highlighting his/her strengths and what they can bring to the table. She has also gone over financial planning, educating members on how to budget, and why it is important to budget and have a financial plan. During this same class, she educated the girls on the importance of building credit, what credit is, and the importance of a good credit score.
She has hosted guest speakers who are current college students from KWC, UK, and WKU. The guest speakers share what college is like, about Greek life, athletic programs, campus life, and the importance of a higher education.
When asked what her favorite lesson has been thus far, she stated, “The mental health lesson where we wrote down every worry, or weakness they each felt they had on their own paper plate. We discussed some of those and then when finished, I told the girls to stomp their plate and to let it go, and start new!”
In the future, Brionna wants to work with members on filling out job applications, creating resumes, and discussing jobs that do not require a 4-year degree, filing taxes, education on black history, and not falling to peer pressure. She has plenty of topics that can make a difference in the teens’ lives. And, her voice is well received by those in the group.
Brionna Greer is very proud of all members of the mentor group, but wanted to shine light on her two seniors. These two young ladies have shown the other members to not be afraid to set extraordinary goals.
One example, is member Kaysia Harrington a 17 year old senior at Owensboro High School who was just accepted to Harvard University. When talking to Kaysia she stated, “My favorite experience was the visit to Kentucky State University, because it showed me life beyond Owensboro and provided me motivation to experience it myself”. Kaysia is student government President at Owensboro High School.
Another member of the group, Ilandra Whitaker is a senior at Owensboro High School and is the Vice President of the student body. When speaking with Ilandra Whitaker about Breaking the Cycle she showed great appreciation toward Brionna Greer and all she had done for not only her, but the youth in our community. Whitaker stated, “A part of my motivation is from Greer and her reassuring me to dream big!” Brionna states, “I believe both Harrington and Whitaker have a great sneak peek of what life has to offer as they adjust to further their education”.
Greer is also proud of her underclassmen in which she states, “I know with no doubt these girls will continue the legacy and reach for the stars!”
If you are interested in becoming a member, message via Facebook at Breaking the Cycle or email email@example.com. There is no membership fee. Brionna and Dugan Best Recreation Center staff want to see teens’ in Owensboro strive to reach and achieve goals. The group is currently looking for male members as well as female, and wants the young men in our community to know Breaking the Cycle has male mentors for them as well.