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GO KIDS Articles

Little Moments: Amachi Texas Program

Reporter: Ryan Loyd
Sherman KXII (CBS) 12
Posted: 11:43 AM Jun 3, 2008

Hundreds of thousands of children in Texas have a parent who is in prison. That statistic is why some felt the need to intervene so that those children wouldn't follow in the same footsteps as their parent. The Amachi Program and Big Brothers Big Sisters are aiming at making a big difference with little moments of time between children and their mentors.

Children of incarcerated parents are five times more likely to commit a violent crime, and, without intervention, 70% of these children will follow their parents to prison.

That fact is simply overwhelming, and right now 400,000 children in Texas have a parent in prison. That's why Amachi Texas is reaching out to children whose parents are in prison because they need inspiration, love, and an example of positive role models.

Amachi is a Nigerian word meaning "who knows what God has brought us through this child." The Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. co-founded Amachi and says there is a tribe in Africa who greets each other very differently than Americans greet each other.

Dr. Goode says this mindset makes children a priority.

Jamar from Arlington grew up without his dad, but with his Big Brother he's learning the right steps to a happy and successful life and is leaving behind old notions of what is right, and what is wrong.

Amachi is meant to address the needs of children in particular whose parents are incarcerated to change their lives for the better. Mentors stress that their parents’ paths don't have to be theirs.

Through the Amachi Texas Program, 33% are less likely to strike someone in anger, 46% less likely to use illegal drugs, 27% less likely to abuse alcohol, and 52 percent less likely to skip school.

Amachi leaders say the mentors are changing the lives of children who otherwise would have no guidance at all.

If you'd like to become a big, check the information below.

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Nele Rogers
Regional Executive Director
If you'd like to volunteer, call…
(903) 893-0900
(888) 887-2447