TAMPA — Sitting at a picnic table in Progress Village Park, Bryon Pressley Sr. and Jimmy Allen look at a laptop in front of them.
What You Need To Know
- Bryon Pressley Sr. mentors Jimmy Allen through Friends of the Children Tampa Bay
- Friends of the Children has partnered with another non-profit called Frameworks
- Frameworks works with school districts, after school programs, daycares and many other groups to teach Social and Emotional Learning
- More Good News headlines
“Alright pull up, let me see these grades, let me see what you are doing in class since you say you don’t have homework," said Pressley, with tough love tone.
Allen, 13, pulls up the pages with his grades, but then skips past the one Pressley wants to see.
“Nah, no, no, no go back to them grades, you think you slick," said Pressley. "No, I am talking about last quarter, not the second quarter.”
Pressley mentors Allen through Friends of the Children Tampa Bay.
The pair met when Allen was just 6 years old, back in 2014. Allen was living in foster care at the time.
“I have seen Jimmy go from living with his dad, to actually being adopted by his current caregiver. She adopted him over the Summertime," said Pressley.
Helping kids at the toughest of times is part of what Friends of the Children Tampa Bay does.
“Mentoring is done in lots of ways in lots of places. But we do two things that are very unique. We find at risk children at roughly age five and we align them with our own staff of professional mentors," said Rick McClintock, Executive Director, Friends of the Children Tampa Bay.
Pressley is one of those professional mentors and to make what the does more effective, Friends of the Children has partnered with another non-profit called Frameworks.
Frameworks works with school districts, after school programs, daycares and many other groups to teach Social and Emotional Learning.
“We have emotional intelligence, and SEL is the pathway to building that up. So we all know about IQ, but really this is EQ," said Jordan Sims, Community Program Specialist, Frameworks. "Those are skills like, being able to express and managing your emotions to cope with them. To be able to communicate effectively, and to make responsible decisions.”
"Frameworks has just been remarkable in taking our Friends, who are very knowledgeable, very trauma informed mentors, but giving them just another set of tools to do very specific things in areas like decision making, and self esteem and self management, problem solving," said McClintock.
After checking the grades, Pressley worked with Allen on financial stability, all while using SEL.
“We want to make sure that we are working with Friends of the Children and other mentor organizations in the community so that they can have these skills incorporated," said Sims. "So kids can have these in their homes, in their schools, but also in the time that they are spending outside of school and outside of the home.”