Tampa non-profit aims to help boys without fathers navigate life

Tavis Myrick knows what it is like to be a young boy growing up without a father. To help other boys navigate life without a male role model, Myrick started a non-profit. 

"I grew up fatherless. I didn't have a father in my home," shared Myrick.

Tavis Myrick understands the importance of having a positive male influence in the home for young boys. 

"I recognize without having the father in the home, the value of a man being a part of these young men's lives. There are certain things that a man has to teach young men that women can't," explained Myrick.

To help teach young boys how to become men, Myrick started a grass-root effort he calls Gentleman's Quest.

"Too many of our young men are becoming incarcerated or ending up on the streets or not being exposed to career paths, not because the careers aren't there, but simply because they just don't know about them. So, we want it to provide opportunities for our students to be exposed to colleges and careers that they may not have been exposed to in the past," added Myrick.

The classes are exposing students like Ethan Eugene to life-changing opportunities.

"This is making me learn new things, that if I hadn't joined, I wouldn't know. And it's giving me the ability to explore new things for after high school and just putting me on that path to success," said Eugene.

Earl Knighten, 16, just joined this summer. 

"These new skills I learned, especially with saving some of the stuff I didn't know now I can use when I grow older. So, I know some credit cards are bad or some credit cards aren't good. It just depends how I save my money and what I need it for," shared Knighten.

The program was started in 2014 and has helped hundreds of boys change their lives. 

"We're trying to develop these young boys into men, we're trying to teach them Problem-Solving skills, critical thinking skills, leadership, communication, collaboration skills that they would need to become a productive member of our society regardless of the career field that they choose," explained Myrick.

The initiative is very rewarding for Myrick. 

"It brings me great joy to see the light bulb go off in a student's head when they understand the concept that they've been struggling with or when they finally realize that success is attainable, is achievable when they finally obtain the resources that they've been struggling to obtain to attend college. All of that. It just brings me joy to be able to serve our youth," added Myrick.

He hopes his service will continue to change the lives of these young men.