Last year, the 10-year-old had completed an area scared-straight program, "Dose of Reality,
" organized by Shawn Mahone, Sr.
Even mentioning a message to Mr. Mahone
would go a long way, she
"He doesn't want to let Shawn
down, or for Shawn
to be disappointed in him," said Ms. Roach, 52, of Toledo.
Mr. Mahone founded the Young Men and Women for Change organization, which began administering the course about five years ago.
program helps fill the gap.
"If they're old enough to disrespect authority and their mom, they're old enough to get the help they need," she
instills the need to treat teachers and other adults with respect, she
has helped me out tremendously with him," said Ms. Frazier, 55, of Toledo.
officers and former inmates also share their stories, said Mr. Mahone
The sessions run from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for those between the ages of 5 and 17.
Instructors focus solely on parents for the first hour.
Attendees have visited the Cherry Street Mission Ministries and lobby of the Lucas County jail.
The sessions are held once, but Mr. Mahone
will follow up with youths afterward if problems arise.
IN PICTURES: Young Men
and Women for Change
called it the only program of its kind in the area.
"If we do not step up and help our youth now, our communities are going to turn into war zones, as they're already doing," Mr. Mahone
Born and raised in Toledo, Mr. Mahone developed the course to give back to young residents.
About 20 to 30 youths attend each class, and more than a thousand have completed the $99 course, Mr. Mahone
Disrespect and defiance are common problems to address, he
The instructor begins by ordering students to complete various exercises, including pushups, situps, and jumping jacks.
"We take the youth, break them down, and build them back up," he
said without addressing problems, many youths will continue toward bleaker outcomes, ticking off items such as incarceration, homelessness, and death.
"I can tell you now, this is a much-needed program in the city of Toledo," he
Latoshia Starks, center, wipes a tear as she listens to Shawn Mahone, Sr., who founded the Dose of Reality program. Her 12-year-old son participated in the 80th session on Friday.
Latoshia Starks, center, wipes a tear as she listens to Shawn Mahone, Sr., who founded the Dose of Reality program.
12-year-old son participated in the 80th session on Friday.