The Reach Out Youth Organization (ROYO) 10th Annual Boys to Men Conference held on Saturday February 11, 2017 at Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church, Clive Avenue under the theme, “Stand… It’s your turn to shine,” was a well-supported success.
More than 500 young boys and adult men representing various civic groups and churches were in attendance.
Dudley Seide, ROYO Founder gave honor and praise to Christ Jesus, his Lord and Savior for blessing the organization throughout the past decade and allowing it to grow and positively impact the lives of countless young boys of the inner-city communities of Grand Bahama many of whom were involved in mischievous, negative behaviors that oftentimes led them down a misguided path.
Without the intervention of ROYO and other organizations such as the Falcons Boys’ Club, the Scouts Association of The Bahamas, HOYTES Programme, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Urban Renewal Community Policing Department in the lives of at-risk boys and young men, many would end up living a life of crime and either being incarcerated or have their lives snuffed out prematurely.
Longtime supporter of Reach Out Youth Organization and Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) President Ian Rolle congratulated Seide for all he has done and continues to do to help steer young boys along a pathway to success stating, “First and foremost I commend Mr. Seide and the ROYO Team for doing a fantastic job in mentoring the young men of the Grand Bahama community.
“The Bahamas face serious issues in regards to our young men, who seem to be traveling down a misguided path that ultimately leads to destruction and here is Mr. Seide and the ROYO standing up as a beacon of hope to redirect their course, inviting them to know Christ, stand up doing all that is right in the sight of God and the law while promoting common decency and respecting their interaction with peers and those in authority.
“Certainly Mr. Seide did not live a charmed life and had been involved in negative, criminal activities similar to that of the at-risk youth of today, however he was blessed to change his life for the better just in the nick of time and now he uses his experiences to show our children that there is a better way, there are people who care, want to help and rescue them from the hands of the enemy that seeks to kill, steal and destroy their future.
“Definitely, I encourage every youth, civic and church organization and business entity to partner with ROYO reaching out to the boys of Grand Bahama, as each one reaches one young man focusing on their academic, athletic, spiritual and social well-being this country would be in a much better state.
“Today was simply fantastic, real men and leaders of our community who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ spoken into the lives of the attendees and many vowed to invest in their positive grow and development fully supporting ROYO’s Annual Boys to Men conference and year round programs and activities, therefore, it is my fervent prayer that Mr. Seide, his team and the organization continues to blossom and bloom affectively and successfully for decades to come.”
Darrin Rolle, Falcons Boys’ Club President noted that indeed it was a blessing to have members of his organization attend the 10th Annual Boys to Men Youth Conference, as his team members truly believe the old adage that “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Encouraged by the extensive and exhaustive work of Seide and ROYO, the president of the Falcons’ Boys Club noted more men need to step up to the plate and invest in the lives of the boys of the Grand Bahama community not only through financial donations but exercising their talents, skills and willingly relinquishing their time to help mold the at-risk youth into productive, educated and law-abiding citizens, who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“The Falcons Boys’ Club is elated to participate in the 10th Annual Boys to Men Conference and encourages Mr. Seide and the ROYO team to keep up the excellent work they do throughout the community.
“We definitely believe the theme selected for this year’s conference is quite fitting, as indeed it is time for our young men to stand united, gleaning for the wisdom shared, engaging in positive activities and shining for God’s glory as well as the betterment of this island and The Bahamas at large.
“Congratulations are extended to Mr. Seide for working diligently to make it to ROYO’s tenth anniversary, we thank him for extending an invitation to us and look forward to his support at the Falcons’ Boys’ Club conference to be held in West Grand Bahama at the Eight Mile Rock High School (EMRHS) gymnasium on April 28, 2017, which is opened to all boys and young men, who attend Lewis Yard Primary School, Bartlett Hill Primary School, EMRHS, Martin Town Primary, Holmes Rock Primary and West End Primary Schools.
“We expected 700-800 boys and their fathers and/or male guardians to be in attendance, as we work together to steer them along a path of success in every aspect of their lives molding them into positive role models to their family, friends and the community,” Rolle declared.
Lakeesta Investments Ltd., and Gizmos & Gadgets CEO Keith Rolle has provided financial support to Seide and ROYO since its inception and revealed his amazement and pride that the organization had survived many trials and tribulations over the past decade to provide much-needed support to at-risk boys and young men in need to life-changing mentorship.
Understanding how challenging it can be for a boy to grow up without a father or the right type of influence, Rolle said it has been his distinct pleasure to support the Boys to Men Conference and the enrichment programs Seide and ROYO undertake to help troubled youth.
Annually, Rolle noticed that the conference continues to grow and have an overwhelming effect on attendees as well as leaders of other mentorship programs, hence he pledges to increase his support of ROYO financially as well as by dedicating more of his time to provide hands-on assistance.
The renowned businessman notes that there are more than enough thriving adult men, who can give of their time to assist Seide and others like him in mentoring and guiding boys to become upstanding young men; “Please men let us come together and help ROYO, transforming a boy’s life for the better so that we do not have to wake up to another news report of another young man losing his life to crime and violence before it has even truly begun,” the Lakeesta Investments Ltd., and Gizmos & Gadgets CEO stated.
Calvary Temple Assembly of God senior pastor Rev. Robert Lockhart has proudly made the sanctuary available for ROYO to conduct its annual Boys to Men Conference and he expressed sincere gratitude to Seide for all he does to help at-risk youth choose a better path.
Rev. Lockhart noted that too many feel they have nowhere to turn; however, he encouraged them to enroll in the programs that are available at the Reach Out Youth Organization Center, Banyan Lane.
He urged men throughout the Grand Bahama community especially those serving and living for Christ to partner with ROYO to help mold and shape the lives of boys to become young men of truth, honor and distinction leading us all on in love and unity.
Additionally, he encouraged young men not to let the mistakes of their past discourage them from changing their negative behaviors and habits to become better, wiser leaders and role models; Rev. Lockhart entreated other male leaders and business owners to exercise the forgiving nature of Christ Jesus and offer a second chance to those young men, who may have had a few missteps in life but are working diligently to reform, be better and do better.
“Calvary Temple does its best to support Mr. Seide in whatever way possible all yearlong galvanizing the entire community’s support so that our young men are not allowed to have too much idle time on their hands and engage in divisive activities like crime and drug dealing to survive.
“We do our best to provide them with new opportunities that would lead them in a more wholesome direction and certainly ROYO is a powerful ministry that will always have Calvary Temple’s full and unwavering support especially as it regards steering at-risk young from a life of crime, drugs and engaging in alternative, destructive lifestyles in the name of surviving and taking care of themselves and their families.
“We have to help young men who have police records transform their lives for the better, as we cannot abandon them, then urge each one not to return to a life of criminality if that is the only way they feel they are able to be “loved,” “accepted” and receive help.
“ROYO is doing all it possibly can to reach out to these young men who live in neighborhoods full of negative influences showing we care and providing the right kind of guidance and direction they need to lead,” Rev. Lockhart declared.
Overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support both ROYO and the annual Boys to Men Conference has received throughout the past 10 years Seide noted if he and his team, sponsors and volunteers can save just one boy’s life it would be all worth it.
He noted throughout his youth he was faced with a number of hardships from being poor to engaging in a life of crime, which almost ended his life before it began, to accepting Christ Jesus as his personal Savior and doing all possible to show other up-and-coming boys and young men that there is a better way, he understands the challenges they face and that they do have a place to turn to for support.
Every day is not easy Seide declared but he works feverishly with the support of his loving wife Katie, family, friends and church to save the lives of at-risk youth island-wide.
Of course Seide revealed he does so in spite of the fact that he has a son, who is incarcerated for murder, another who was arrested three weeks ago, almost losing his home at least four times and losing a few mentees along the way; however he pushes forth as there are hundreds more who are alive and doing well because he and others like him took the time to reach out, provide at-risk youth with positive options to lead better lives, become role models in their own right, standing up as truly it is their time to shine for the glory of God and the benefit of Grand Bahama, The Bahamas and the world in general.
Published Monday, February 13, 2017