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He believes in our young men

April 12
05:00 2018

By Busta Brown

The phone rings just before I begin my interview. “Hello. Oh hey, I was calling you to check if you knew of any young men that need some work, because I can make it happen,” replies Ron McRae to the caller.

As the calls kept coming in, it was clear to me that if anyone can help our young black men prepare for a job, and then go to battle to help them find a job, Ron is that man. McRae is the CEO of the nonprofit Boys to Men.

“It started because of my wife and my passion because of our four boys, and we knew we needed something to ground them. You have the church, and they’re doing a great job, but sometimes our black men need more than just the church.” Ron said we need our brothers in the hood to step up in the system, and that Boys to Men was birthed due to his passion to make sure his sons succeeded.

Boys to Men is a nonprofit that helps young men evolve into the mind set of an adult, “We work with young men that have been incarcerated. We provide resume preparation, because a lot of young men in our communities don’t know what to put on a resume. We help them to dress for success and interviews.”

They also teach the young men how to get an interview and how to conduct themselves. “We also teach them how to handle an interview with more than one person on the panel.”

Ron and his partners work long and hard hours training young men how to navigate the waters to successful employment and eventually into entrepreneurship. His wife, Dr. Linda McRae, is the CEO of HOPE (Healing Our People and Environment). She was very instrumental in the beginning. While his wife was in divinity school at Wake Forest University, they were given free space to conduct classes to mentor young men from middle through high school. He and his wife thought about what happens to the young men after high school and those who have been incarcerated.

“A lot of guys come out and want to succeed, but the doors are closed to them, and it’s really an unfair system. They paid their debt to society, but can’t find a job.” Boys to Men and their clients work hard to build trust, which makes it easy for the nonprofit to put boots on the ground and speak on the young men’s behalf.

“We build relationships with employers and then walk with the young men to employment. We tell the businesses that we have young men that are ready, willing and able to work. It’s really great working with businesses that trust us and willing to hire them,” McRae said.

After the interview, Ron McRae received more calls, and again I witnessed him go to work for helping young black men find jobs. His phone finally stopped ringing. He looks at me and smiles. “Busta it’s very important that we as black men help these young guys change their mindset, so that they understand responsibility. We at Boys to Men help them understand the importance of being on time to work and learning how to adjust when the job changes their schedules; how to have patience.”

Check out more of this very encouraging interview on YouTube at the Winstonsalem Chronicle channel. For more info, call (336) 631-1948. All services are free.

Ron McRae and his wife Linda are parents of six college graduates, with one on the way to medical school. Their four sons are Darian, Raheem, Rod and Christopher, and daughters Montayyea, Constance, Vikki and Shonise.

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