Real Talk: A mentorship program for Knox County Schools

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:55 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 11:11 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Former UT basketball player Clarence Swearengen started Real Talk more than a decade ago with a handful of kids. Now his program has expanded to include more than 300 students in 10 schools.

“No matter what is going on in our communities now, mentorship is probably one of the most important things we can provide for our kids. Keep them trusting, no matter what you’re going through, you can be successful,” said Swearengen.

The kids call him Mr. C. Swearengen wants the kids to be successful. He brings in special guests for discussions before school. On Tuesday Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs gave a talk on sportsmanship.

“Sportsmanship: Is it confined to a court or a playing field? It’s really much bigger than that- it’s how you live your life. When you look back on your life, I don’t think you’re going to care how many points in a game you scored, you’re going to care if you make a difference for people and do the best you could,” said Jacobs.

They talked about overcoming obstacles and giving back to the community.

“Community really means a group of people ... How do you make a community better? By the people within the community,” said Jacobs.

“Our community is based on you. It’s based on how you build it,” said Swearengen.

If you’re interested in speaking or want to get involved you can visit his Facebook page here.

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