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Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Will Allen runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)

Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Will Allen runs with the ball after intercepting a pass during a game against the St. Louis Rams, Sept. 27, 2015, in St. Louis. Allen was a participant in the Faison I MATTER event. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)

Pittsburgh Faison hosted its 2nd Annual I MATTER event to celebrate and empower the school’s fourth and fifth grade male students.

I MATTER gave students the opportunity to learn more about self-esteem, self-care and self-respect. Accompanied by a positive adult male, the students explored stations including self-esteem activities, dental care, barbershop talk, Villa’s Keeping your Kicks Clean, and a photo booth.

Also, the day consisted of a special presentation by the Pittsburgh Faison male students, a panel discussion entitled “From Boys to Men,” spoken word, and an award presentation honoring students for their continued commitment to excellence.  Emceed by Micah Wilkerson, the panel included African American professionals as well as current student leaders who attend Pittsburgh Milliones and Pittsburgh Westinghouse.

Participants were: Russell Patterson PhD, principal, Pittsburgh Faison; Dr. Kevin Baidoo, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh; Will Allen, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers; Kevin McNair, co-founder, One Nation Mentoring; and Micah Wilkerson, prevention specialist, Familylinks.

I MATTER gives boys at Pittsburgh Faison, their father, or positive role model in their lives the opportunity to learn about healthy communication during the teenage years.  The overall goal is to partner with community agencies, businesses and prominent male role models to provide the young men with the tools and information needed to make a seamless transition to middle school.


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