Mark James, a corrections deputy for St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office, youth football coach, and mentor, knows that it takes a village to raise a child, which is why he created a special mentorship program.
When James isn’t on duty, he spends his free time mentoring the young men in his community, to make sure they grow up to be outstanding men.
He founded his mentoring program, the Nu Nation of Men, to help teach life skills to boys aged 5 to 15 years old. He teaches them social skills anger management, conflict resolution, good hygiene, health and nutrition, accountability and recreation.
“We’re just trying to shape the lives of young men by having positive interactions with men within the community,” James told USA Today.
James volunteers at The Webster School in West Augustine, and talks with students about bullying and its harmful effects, as well as the importance of surrounding yourself with good friends. He also speaks with them about making the right choices in life and the consequences that follow bad ones.
He also held a “gentleman’s boot camp,” where he taught boys everything from formal table etiquette to how to tie a tie.
Within the next two years, James hopes Nu Nation will spread throughout Florida, and eventually be country-wide.
For his efforts in the community, James has won the Viewer’s Choice Award during USA Today’s Best of Humankind Awards.
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