One man sets an example to young boys in Milwaukee: “Mr. Andre has taught us responsibility”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A group of young black men in Milwaukee are making a difference, not only in the community, but in their own lives as well. FOX6 shows you why so many are saying thank you to a true hero of the neighborhood.

At the corner of 9th and Ring in Milwaukee, there's a man with the power to impact young lives forever.

"He talked mostly about becoming a man," says Freddie Outlaw.

Andre Ellis has a garden, and every Saturday, he gathers black boys and puts them to work.

"It keeps me out of trouble.  It makes me feel great.  Just being in a place to help people clean up the community," says 14-year-old Freddie Outlaw.

From 8:00 o'clock a.m. until noon, the kids pick up trash from their streets and plant vegetables in the garden. Ellis watches over them and keeps them in line.

"Some of the things that Mr. Andre has taught us responsibility.  If we`re not here on time, we get sent home," says 14-year-old Trevione Jones.

For many kids, he's the closest thing they have to a father.

"When you have a group of 47 kids, and you say, how many of you don`t know your father and 38 of them raise your hands," says Andre Ellis.

The kids do get compensated for their efforts, $20 dollars each. All of the money for the program is donated to Ellis, but it's clear that the experience is priceless.

"I was a troublemaker. I was fighting people on the block.  He kept me from going to jail and stuff," says Jermaine Stevens.

A group of boys, who now know what it takes to be a man.

Ellis's program will wrap up in mid August, but he isn't abandoning the kids once they head back to school. Phase two includes taking what's learned in the classroom, and continuing that education after school, and on the weekends.

14 comments

  • Michele

    Andre Ellis is a great Pro – active guy! Great job sir keep it up, a little bit goes a long way. As a teacher I’ll help you anyway I can feel free to contact me~Ms.Price @ Washington High School.

  • Ubiquitous King

    This is not surprising, Andre has been active in the community for years, through theatre and other venues, Andre is always doing something. May the Creator and ancestors continue to guide you big brother.

  • Petey

    With all the negativity coming out of the inner city it is sooooooo very nice to see this. We need many more like Mr. Ellis.

  • aries2379

    To support the program stop by the location at 9th and Ring Saturday mornings between 8-12p. I myself have stopped by to drop off a donation. It was a good feeling to see the youth hard at work. MR Ellis was very appreciative of the support.

  • Brittany

    This is awesome.. Its so nice to hear good things and good news about someone making a difference and creating a greag impact on the world, and I say world because small things turn into bigger and bigger changes.. If only one of those kids take something from this and grow up to make his own positive impact larger than this, its worth it..

  • Kelly Giemza

    This just goes to prove the theory that it takes a community to raise a child. Children can’t sit locked in their houses with their parents forever, at some point they need to learn how to become part of their community and this is when the community needs to be involved. We need more people like Mr. Ellis! This is needed in all communities too, not just the one’s the news media is plastering on the news. All kids go out and make friends at some point and start to develop their own independence…and everyone in the community can help mold these children into making wise decisions…. if only they would get involved and stay involved!

  • anna

    is there a follow up story to this. There are follow ups to all the shootings and negativity and nothing here…I love this story and there should be more of it! So wonderful of this man to be a father figure and an example to these kids!

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