It was great to be back at The Pirates House and in our usual meeting space!  President Ben Brewer presented Cindy Kelley with her Paul Harris Fellow +1 pin - congratulations Cindy!  Ben also reminded everyone that a survey will be sent out via email asking for feedback as to how to spend the money that was given back to our club from the district.  Once all Rotary business items were complete, Paul Tatum introduced our speaker for the day - Jay Thompson with Xcel Strategies.  
 
Xcel Strategies is a mentoring network for young men ages 15-25 who have lost parental oversight and need positive male influences in their life.  Jay founded the company because he believed that someone needed to invest in their futures.  Xcel partners with schools, churches, community organizations to find young men who want to apply to be part of the program.   The program begins with a 6 week training period where the participants are taught goal setting, time management, health and fitness, financial stewardship, and how to value relationships (personal and professional).  Once the training period is complete, the boys move into a 12 month mentorship.  During the mentorship, Xcel helps the boys with their resume, job interviews, securing and advancing in their job, acquiring drivers license and bank accounts.  The mentors come from all walks of life - bankers, pastors, doctors.  
 
Jay wants to create a lifelong friendship with all participants in Xcel Strategies.  They mentor around 40 boys a year and have around a 15-20% drop out rate.  Currently, there are branches in Savannah, Effingham County, Bryan County and plans to open in Raleigh, NC in the near future.  He ended his presentation by encouraging everyone at the meeting to embrace the adventure in the messy.  
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