As a young man in his 20s, Domonic Purviance found himself struggling with a pretty profound question: What does it mean to be a man?
Surprisingly stumped by this question, posed by a leader in a men's group, Domonic realized no one in the room had a good answer, either.
"It should have been a simple question, but it was actually a very provocative one," Domonic says. "I prayed about it, and came to the realization that a man is a King - a man responsible for something bigger than himself - who lives by a Code, and who fights for a Cause."
So began "King Code Cause," the foundational curriculum for the "Rites of Passage," a mentoring program for middle-school boys now in its third year at Cornerstone Church in Atlanta's West End. The 12-week program brings boys and mentors from the church together, and in many cases the relationships extend far beyond the Saturday meetings.
"We believe that if we can have an impact on young men, we can help them live productive lives," says Domonic. "Many of these boys are from broken families and challenging situations. We're investing in them before they get to an age when they might follow the wrong path."
The program lays out a path for young men to follow: the "King" stage is the foundational module, focused on defining your value and identity; the "Code" stage brings in character, centered on virtues of self-control, wisdom, and endurance; and the "Cause" stage is devoted to purpose — what will you do with your life?
Domonic, a graduate of Morehouse College with a master's degree in city and regional planning from Georgia Tech, travels the country as residential real estate analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. He's also working toward a master's in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Despite this busy schedule, he has big plans for "Rites of Passage," adding a program at Cornerstone for middle school girls this year and creating a non-profit that will support the expansion of the programs to churches around the country.
Within the next few months, he hopes to established a partnership with a middle school near Cornerstone.
"Imagine if every year we have boys and girls go through our program, and then we re-plant these students back in the middle school as leaders," Domonic says. "That could make a real difference in a lot of lives."
Watch this video to learn more about "King Code Cause."
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