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Foundation fosters youth development in Henry
by Nneka Okona
January 24, 2013 02:12 PM | 2127 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
Bruce Holmes, Henry County Commissioner and founder of the Bruce Holmes Youth Foundation.
Staff / Katherine Frye
Bruce Holmes, Henry County Commissioner and founder of the Bruce Holmes Youth Foundation.
Since 2011, the Commissioner Bruce Holmes Youth Foundation has been about the business of bettering youth throughout Henry County.

Holmes founded the nonprofit organization in response to his own insistence on mentoring and youth development — particularly since mentoring and youth development made all the difference when he was younger.

This, however, is not Holmes’ first stab at cultivating a foundation of its type.

“I started a foundation some years ago when I lived in Minnesota,” he said. “Now I’m starting to see those kids graduate from college and become successful. Every now and then, I will get a Facebook message or an email saying ‘Thank you for having an impact on my life.’”

It is those unexpected expressions of gratitude that keep him motivated for fulfilling the foundation’s vision he set forth.

Current president of the board, Toni Davis, is equally as dedicated to the cause.

Davis was voted and appointed to her role in July of last year.

“I have a passion for community outreach and service,” she said. “Being able to come in and implement the process and launching the mentoring program has been a good fit for me.”

Currently, the foundation operates on two tiers — a mentoring program and a partnership between the Athletics Association for a boy’s basketball and baseball program.

The mentoring program, which is a one-year program, will launch for the second year in the fall.

In the first year, a total of 20 boys were enrolled.

The Athletics Association program, however, topped out around 300.

Both Holmes and Davis hope in the year ahead that they can integrate young women into the foundation’s events and programs.

For Holmes, who is slowly seeing the vision of his foundation come to fruition, he said he recognizes why organizations like his are important for the community.

“When kids are in their teens, it can go one way or the other,” he said. “It only takes one mistake to mess up your future. If you have someone out in front of you to direct the way, the percent chance that you have of screwing up can be very low.”


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