MAC was founded in 2014 by lifelong educator and youth mentor Dr. Erwin Clowers. Working in collaboration with Roger Jackson, the executive director of the Motivating Youth Foundation of East Macon, and local pastor John Herring, Dr. Clowers established the learning center within the then-vacant ancillary facilities of the Glorious Hope Baptist Church in the Bellevue neighborhood of Macon, Georgia.
The original idea for MAC dates all the way back to 1993, however, when Dr. Clowers joined forces with other male teachers at McEvoy Middle School to form an innovative new mentoring program intended to make a positive impact on the development of at-risk boys. After years of brainstorming and meticulous planning, progresses and setbacks, Dr. Clowers would formally found Men About Change, Inc. eleven years later, initially focusing on supporting at-risk adolescent boys in an afterschool setting.
MAC’s story since its founding is primarily defined its continual expansion, not only in regard to the programs and services being offered, but in the demographics being served. Its story is one of increasing inclusivity. As the number of program participants quickly rose, MAC would soon learn that significant community demand existed for similar services for at-risk girls. In response, MAC soon expanded its programs services to include at-risk boys and girls, forming what can now best be referred to as Men About Change | Women About Change.
Additional community demand for greater inclusion of children of all ages would prompt the organization to once again expand the support services to youth in all grade levels, from Pre-K through 12th grade. MAC would once again answer the call, increasing and diversifying its staff and modifying its facilities to further broaden the scope of its programming to include daycare/childcare and early learning.
Responding yet again to community need, MAC would begin operating a full-day summer program, providing youth with the same programs and services offered by the afterschool program, while also expanding the number and variety of educational, recreational, and character-building activities and workshops for the kids to participate in, coordinating exciting field trips and outings, and ensuring our kids are fully nourished through a comprehensive nutrition program that provides each child with two hot meals per day.
In early 2020, MAC undertook a massive effort to combat local food insecurity prompted by the loss of school meals due to COVID-19-related school closures. The Meal Assistance Program that arose from this need provides comprehensive, nutritious meals for pickup or delivery to local families in need, at no cost.
In Autumn 2020, MAC embarked on its most ambitious project to date, the Virtual Learning Academy, which provides a dedicated learning environment, high-speed internet access, lendable computers and other technology, 26 educational, childcare, and nutrition specialists, and a comprehensive daily meal program to clients whose families find virtual learning within the home to be unfeasible, inadequate, or undesirable.
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