Johnson Smith, a volunteer with the Phenomenal Men’s Support Group, a nonprofit dedicated to helping youth make good decisions that lead to positive futures, talked with young people attending a book bag giveaway on Garfield Avenue near 6th Street recently.
Smith said most of the group’s members are men in their 50s. Like him, most are military veterans who suffered negative consequences, including incarceration, because of substance abuse or drug dealing.
After serving in Viet Nam, Smith struggled with PTSD and substance abuse, which led to a three-year jail sentence.
The group members encourage central city youth to take their educations seriously and become contributing members of society.