The Rev. Herbert Davenport Jr. was determined to create a way for young men to enhance their self esteem and overcome negative influence.
| The Booker T. Washington High School Young Men of Distinction and mentors include (l-r) the Rev. H.E. Davenport Jr., Cifton E. Drake, William Cain, Derrick Jackson, Prentice Merritt, Enrique McKinney, Jeremy Cooper, Keith Smith, DeAndre Garrison, Derrick Gill, Jalen Newson, Dion Thomas, Darrien Little, Allando Marshall, Shaquille Starks, Martin Hale, Antonio Ferguson, Marquis Macon, the Rev. Dr. Melvin Charles Smith, and the Rev. Dr. Edward Parker Jr. (Courtesy photo)|
So he got busy.
Davenport took the lead in organizing just such a group – The Booker T. Washington High School Young Men of Distinction. The initial steps included guiding the young men as they developed a mission statement and list of values to aid them along the course of becoming successful students, completing high school, preparing for college and in other endeavors.
The group’s mission is to strive for excellence in academics, school decorum, dress code, and accepted moral values through their personal faith and determination.
Davenport knew he needed help. Early on he enlisted the support of his BTW Class of ’56 classmates. The group of mentors are Clifton E. Drake, entrepreneur; the Rev. Dr. Melvin Charles Smith, pastor of Mt. Moriah East Baptist Church, and the Rev. Dr. Edward Parker Jr., pastor of Berean Missionary Baptist Church.