OMAHA, Neb. Teaching students to be responsible, respectful and ready to lead. That's the goal of the 100 Black Men of Omaha's Saturday Academy. As Serese Cole reports, the program was just the beginning for one metro student. It's where he found a mentor - and - motivation.
Some relationships are meant to be.
Christopher Wiley is a former teacher with an itch.
"I had moved to high school to counsel - but I still had that teaching hunger," Wiley said.
He fed that hunger by joining 100 Black Men of Omaha.
"I originally started as a third grade teacher," Wiley added.
Davion Sayers was his student ... who just needed a little push.
"I was pretty nonchalant," admitted Sayers.
Davion was one of the first students to participate in the Saturday Academy. The focus was academics - which isn't too appealing to a seven-year-old boy.
"I didn't like it," Sayers recalled. "The best cartoons is on Saturdays - so I didn't want to go."
But even young Davion knew it was paying off.
Video of Davion Sayers in elementary school: "My name is Davion Sayers. I've been in the program for three years and my grades have academically went up a lot and my mom is proud of that."
Christopher Wiley was proud, too.
What started out as a third grade student-teacher relationship - grew into much more.
"We were together third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade," said Wiley.
Ten years later, Davion is now with Christopher Wiley at Omaha North High School. His longtime mentor is now also his high school guidance counselor.
No matter what - he's always there to help," said Sayers.
Small meetings at school - providing food for thought - for life.
"I've learned a lot from him but I would have to say the biggest - one is don't limit yourself," Sayers said,
"I've been with him through significant events like him getting his first job. Him having to apply for college," said Wiley. "I've been around."
That same little boy who didn't want to go so Saturday school is now taking college classes in high school.
"I think that's been the greatest growth. He's looking toward his future with confidence - that's everything," Wiley said.
"The career I might pursue is a line worker for electrical utilities," said Sayers.
Everything this mentor and men-tee could ask for.
The Saturday Academy has been going strong for 10 years now. This school year, nearly 100 students are enrolled. Davion's class is the first to graduate high school in the program.