Greco Middle School resource officer launches male mentoring program

Greco Middle School resource officer launches male mentoring program

TAMPA, Fla. - A Bay Area school resource officer hopes to turn teenage boys into natural-born leaders.

Billy Chatman isn't just any resource officer. He is a beacon of hope for many young boys navigating the tricky waters of adolescence.

"The only thing that can stop you is you," Chatman explained. "They are the leaders of tomorrow, and, we have to speak life into the leaders for tomorrow."

Chatman launched a mentoring program tailored specifically for the boys in the school. He named it "Natural Born Leaders."

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"We try to give them, positive affirmation, and, let them know that they can be somebody great and, like, no matter what side of the tracks they come from," said Chatman.

Chatman struggled as a teenager, and now, has a male mentoring program to teach teens the importance of staying out of trouble. And it's working.

"We talk about how like how to be a leader not to be a follower," shared student Willie Martin. "To get good grades and to help other people."

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"I had C’s and D’s and a couple of A's, and now I have like A's and B's," another student added.

Chatman knows all too well the pitfalls that can come with youth.

"Just trying to be a, a father figure, to these kids that don't have a father and, to motivate them and to get them to believe in themselves," he said.

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Chatman began the initiative in 2013 and has now written a book about his childhood experiences titled "Beware of Ancient STDs... Spiritually Transmitted Demons."

"I wrote the book because of an experience that I went through in the Philippines, and it was put in my spirit about 15 years ago to write the book, and I'm just now getting that book on paper," he explained. He hopes his book will change the lives of those who read it.

"We're a small piece of the puzzle. That we believe if we can change the life of one person or one student, we're making a difference here," Chatman said.

Helping teens become better citizens enables them to have a positive impact on our world.

Chatman also runs summer camps.

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