Inspired by concern for a group of middle-school-aged boys who’d visit TACOLCY afterschool, but were not involved in any specific activity, the Zulu Warriors initiative serves boys ages 8-12 daily aduring those hours that they are out of school and more likely to be at risk. Positive male role models implement an intense mentoring “rites of passage” experience to promote academics and athletics, self-worth and self-purpose, responsible relationships and what it really means to become a man. TACOLCY chose the name, Zulu Warriors, in honor of a 19th century African chief, Shaka Zulu. The program teaches the difference between pride and being a servant-leader, between strength used to destroy versus strength used to protect and nurture their families, their community, their world.
Designed as an in-depth mentoring opportunity for girls "in-between" ages 8-12, this year-round program helps girls learn to oppose risky behaviors, develop strong social and relationship skills, enhance their knowledge of health and wellness, and nurture independent thinking. The program has five interrelated components: (1) "Reaching Greater Heights" (academic achievement); (2) "Smooth Operators" (social skills, including communication and personal literacy skills); (3) "Growing Girls" (health and wellness, including exercise, hygiene, nutrition, puberty and health concerns); (4) "Career Girls" (career options that await: online research, guest speakers, visits to local colleges, requirements for the job); (5) "Girls on the Move" (interactive field studies, giving the girls direct experiences in situations outside their culture and community to aid their transition and successful later in life).