DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — A group of young men and ladies are spending the week at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office for the second annual Boys-to-Men Camp and first Girls-to-Pearls event. They shared how the program is equipping them with the life skills needed to grow into adulthood.

This year, the Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Ludacris Foundation and the National Council Of Negro Women Dekalb Section, teaching kids self-confidence, how to tie a necktie, create a vision board and how to deal with gangs and bullies.

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“My grandmother is the Sheriff of DeKalb County, and she invited me to learn about proper etiquette and how to communicate with the police and stuff, because I’m a young Black male and stuff can happen,” said Brayden Leach, who is participating in the Boys-To Men Camp for a second year. “I’m also here to learn how to treat a woman like a queen, and like, how to stay away from the wrong groups.”

“It’s gonna help me mature up a lot, because I get advice from the sheriff herself and all of her wonderful friends,” said Dream Favors, a member of Girls-to-Pearls.

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“We have to work together, so we have to teach the young men how to treat the young ladies and how the young ladies should receive the treatment from the young men,” said Sheriff Melody Maddox. “We have those that are living with other relatives and those that just want some guidance who said they want somebody to support them and somebody to just say, ‘I love you.’”

“We will have a group of young men and young ladies that are poised to take on anything that they will be faced with,” said National Council of Negro Women DeKalb Section President Derrica Williams.

It’s also about bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community. “Being the sheriff and you see who is incarcerated, I have the opportunity to talk to these inmates to see what is it that we can do to combat some of the population here to stop the recidivism, and that’s why this camp is so important. I was able to get that question answered,” Maddox said.

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The kids also learned some healthy lifestyle tips and enjoyed a fun workout with John Lewis, a professional trainer with the Ludacris Foundation. An end-of-camp graduation is scheduled for Friday.