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‘What they see is what they'll be’: 100 Black Men of Omaha holds its annual gala

Posted at 11:27 AM, May 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 17:44:17-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The community came together to support the 100 Black Men of Omaha's Annual Gala Friday.

The event not only serves as a fundraiser but also allows the mentees to engage with positive role models.

“One of our Motto's is what they seem what they'll be,” said Executive Director Marcus Bell.

The organization's motto holds true.

“Seeing all these people like the CEOs, these donors, (and) these people who have amazing opportunities shows even a kid like me coming from a "small town" or an area that's not as opportunistic shows me I can really do whatever I really put my mind too besides my circumstances,” said Mentee Andrew Joppa.

“By matching them with other grown men and giving them a role model it really shows them that's someone I can see myself in and I can achieve what they've achieved one day,” said Bell.

The organization mentors young black men to help them reach their fullest potential.

Andrew has been a part of the organization for five years.

“Just looking for a role model I can look to and model my own life after was a big thing for me,” Andrew said.

Kids say seeing a room full of people who look like them and support them gives a confidence boost.

“I've never really had that person to look up to so it. Kind of made me closed off and more introverted but with this experience as I got to see more people that look like me. Kind of do things I never thought I could have it helped me gain that more confidence,” said Andrew.

Bell says it's heartwarming to see the community support them. The gala also allows them to continue their mission and look to the future.

“With the pandemic and the civil unrest that's going on in the last couple of years a lot of our youth have suffered socially and emotionally so we really focusing more on mental health and how to get them ready for the next step,” said Bell.

The event was emceed by 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole.

If you'd like to get involved with the organization you can visit the 100 Black Men Omaha's website.

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