Three-time Daytime Emmy Award winner and television host, two-time best-selling author and celebrated radio host Steve Harvey kicks off his 8th annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men National Camp today through June 12th. Hosted by the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation, the camp invited 220 fatherless young men, bringing them in from across the country, to Camp Grace in Roberta, Georgia to participate in an informative, interactive and transformative mentoring camp experience.
Harvey, along with a prominent group of military officers, community leaders, professional athletes and successful businessmen, including CEO of Choice Hotels International, Inc., Steve Joyce and former NBA shooting guard Duane Ferrell, will be onsite to serve as mentors at the camp. During the program, the teens bunk among Army representatives and are exposed to educational and inspirational activities aimed to help them overcome adolescent issues, instill self-respect and respect for others, teach helpful life skills and introduce problem-solving techniques to help them conquer obstacles and empower their futures.
Created by Harvey in 2009, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men selects hundreds fatherless youths each year, aged 13-18, from a pool of submitted applications to participate in the National Camp. By way of the camp and a series of similar regional programs around the country, the Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men has reached and impacted over 1,500 youths and continues to grow since its inception.
“I have always tried to use my platform as a means to serve my community,” says Steve Harvey. “I am indebted to the panel of role models donating their time and our sponsors that have allowed us to host this camp experience for seven years now. Seeing our mentees grow into fine and respectable young men, with many returning to camp to volunteer makes it all worth it.”
Choice Hotels has supported the annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men since its inaugural year and is now the program’s largest donor and partner. In addition to providing complimentary hotel stays at nearby Choice Hotels locations for the mothers of participants, Harvey Foundation staff and volunteers, Choice Hotels has contributed more than a quarter-million dollars to the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation in less than two years. Fundraising is generated through the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation – Choice Privileges Points Donation Program, an initiative developed in 2015 in which Choice Hotels matches loyalty member point donations dollar for dollar up to $75,000 annually. This has enabled Choice Hotels to assist the Foundation with expenses including roundtrip airfare for the mentees and their mothers.
One of the world’s leading hotel companies, known for its 11 brands which include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Cambria hotels & suites, and the Ascend Hotel Collection, Choice Hotels has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the camp. This year, mothers of the mentees and volunteers are staying at Comfort and Sleep Inn brand hotels in the Atlanta-metro area with access to free Wi-Fi and complimentary hot breakfast.
“Hospitality is an industry that enables a person to work his or her way up, no matter how humble his or her beginnings. In fact, that’s my personal story,” said Steve Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels. “And that is why Choice Hotels strives to inspire and motivate young minds through more than just money or words. Each year I look forward to returning so I can connect with former mentees and work directly with new ones.”
Additionally, over the course of the five day program, the mothers of the mentees are invited to attend a concurrent Parent Program, offering essential discussions and educational sessions covering family, teen issues, health and wellness activities, financial literacy, and applying to college. The program’s closing ceremony on Sunday, June 12, 2016, will include honoring a number of young mentees with Rising Star and Future Leader awards.
In addition to Choice Hotels, the annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men National Camp, and the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation receive support from the U.S. Army, State Farm, Ford, AT&T through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature education initiative focused on school success and career readiness, and Walgreen’s.