DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — For the last two weeks inside the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, officers have provided some specialized training for a group of 16 young men. The boys have learned some much-needed life skills at their Boys to Men Summer Camp. The program debuted last month, and this is the second session.

“I like it. It’s pretty good, you know. We got to meet new people. It’s a lot of discipline,” said Andrew Davis, 16. He added, “There’s a lot of people who care for us, so I think that’s nice to be put out there.” Uniformed officers and instructors from organizations like Kappa Alpha Psi have provided the training. “It’s been a pleasure to instruct the kids. They want to learn. They want to have some type of structure, they want to have some type of guidance,” said Sheriff’s Deputy Tommie Jones.

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“They’re taught proper etiquette, how to seat a lady, how to treat a young lady, and they are to identify these young ladies as queens,” said Sheriff Melody Maddox. As for the kings, the camp was designed to build their confidence and self-esteem. “When they respect themselves, they will in turn respect those who are in their presence,” Maddox said.

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They’ve learned how to tie bowties and properly wear a suit. Instructors also taught them a few career-readiness skills. Maddox says she got the idea for the camp when talking to inmates. “The inmates were very candid in their conversations and said, ‘Sheriff, we don’t know anything else. We were never taught that,’” she said. “This is that time of age they have impressionable minds. So It shows them we can try to bridge that gap between law enforcement and the community,” said Jones. Maddox also said it was important to provide the kids with instructors who look like them.

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Friday is the last day of camp and the start of some new journeys. “These young men will graduate from a boy to a man,” said Maddox. A graduation is planned for 5 p.m.