Great Kids: The Tribe prepares young men in Bloomfield for the future

The Tribe prepares young men in Bloomfield for the future
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:29 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) - The town of Bloomfield is investing time and energy in young men, particularly young men of color.

It has formed a class called the Tribe, where some great kids are learning how to become great men.

There is a strong, often used affirmation that theorizes: if you can see it, then you can achieve it.

“I want to live in a big house when I’m older,” said Matthew Waldon, Tribe member.

“I like to hang out with my friends. I like to have a good house in the future. I also like to travel,” said Jacob Lanham, 8th grader.

This was the assignment for these young men in their most recent Tribe class in Bloomfield.

They all did vision boards.

This is a group of students ranging from the 7th to 10th graders who meet every other Monday.

The class has been part of the community for the last 15 years.

“The purpose of the group is for them to learn leadership skills, bond with other young men. Learn skills that will help them through society as they get older,” said Tiffany Wright, Assistant Youth Services Coordinator.

Tribe means family.

The boys are learning to relate to each other as brothers and kings.

The goal in the class to enlighten and empower them, to understand they do matter, and they have a future.

“We want to prepare them for that. We want to prepare them for the life. We want to let them know they can be leaders. That they don’t have to fit into a box,” said Mark Mitchell, Tribe facilitator.

Each picture, each image on their vision boards, are helping these young boys set goals and most importantly outline the steps it takes to accomplish them.

“What have you learned from the Tribe, what have you learned in this class?” Eyewitness News asked.

“How to be respectful and don’t act up,” Waldron said.

“This class taught me there are different ways to achieve your goals. It’s not just to become a person, it’s to become a man. This class taught me a lot,” said Triston Matthews, Tribe member.

The conversations range from race to how to behave responsibly.

The focus is on reaching these young men, right where they are now.

“It taught me a lot of life skills that I can use now and later in life,” said Michael Lanham, Tribe member.

Giving them faith and hope, and a path forward.

“You don’t have to be an all-time NBA star, like you can be small job, like as a police officer, still paying your bills, still have a nice car and nice family,” Matthews said.

Life goals at such a young age.

Giving them a clear picture of what the future will look like.