Each month MCCOY shines a spotlight on hard working Youth Development Professionals and the great work they and their organizations do. This month’s interview is with Young Men, Inc.’s Executive Director Reverend Malachi Walker. Founded in 1993, Young Men, Inc. is a youth ministry dedicated to working with African-American males, ages 9-16. The ministry’s purpose is to work with young men to help them gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in life. Check out the interview below to learn more about Reverend Walker and the organization:
1) Why did you want to go into youth ministry?
I’ve been a youth worker all my life and it started in earnest when I was a teenager. Once I grew older I got serious with God, wanted to utilize my gift with God and decided to do that in the form of youth ministry.
2) What was your the first day at Young Men, Inc. like?
As the founder and director, I was present on the first day camp started. The experience was uplifting and a dream come true. I always wanted to work with men and this was uplifting, rewarding and exciting. Working with boys, learning how to talk and interact with them has been a learning experience
3) What is most rewarding about working at Young Men, Inc.?
The boys that are a part of Young Men, Inc. made the decision to change their life and to live a different life than they’ve been living. They’ve found Christ and follow the knowledge and teaching they’ve been given. They listen and follow the lessons they’ve learned. They’ve turned their life around and are on the path to being successful, and to reaching their goals.
4) What is the most challenging part of working at Young Men, Inc.?
The most challenging part is dealing with the different issues young men are facing. They face social issues and some men come from dysfunctional families. You have to deal with families and parents who may not be a good influence. You are trying to keep them on one path but their home life or neighborhood takes them on another.
5) How has MCCOY helped Young Men, Inc succeed or grow?
After being listed in MCCOY’s Youth Activity Directory Young Men, Inc. received an increase in calls from young men interested in joining. And many young men and their families have gotten involved in the program due to the increased exposure. Since then we’ve had to do little of our own advertising or promotion.
6) Where do you see Young Men, Inc. in five years?
I see Young Men Inc. growing, hopefully into a city or statewide program, so other cities or churches that want to work with young men can use this model of programming. I’d like to expand into a larger area of the state of Indiana.