God planted the seed to start the Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program for Black Male Youth in August 2008. Susan Woods, the founder, was puzzled by the “charge” God gave to her because she was single with no children. Initially, she tried very hard to ignore the “charge” because it did not make sense to her.

Ultimately, Susan realized that there was no need to try to ignore the call any longer. She accepted the charge and began following the instructions God provided. From August 2008 through March 2009, Susan focused on writing the program outline to present at the community meetings she scheduled.

After presenting the program outline during five community meetings to get feedback from local constiuents, a team was created, and the program application was announced. In June 2009, forty black male youth were enrolled in the first class of Emerging Leaders. The first phase was facilitated at the Park South Church Fellowship Center in Pineville, North Carolina.

Due to various reasons, 15 candidates for ELMP membership did not graduate from the first phase. Instead, 25 candidates, our Founding Members, graduated from the first phase in July 2009 to receive year-round services until they graduate from high school.

The Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program for Black Male Youth (ELMP) is still providing high-quality year-round services for its members. We give God the glory!

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