Greater Men Foundation in Alabama

Midwest Students help out during Alabama tornadoes

On May 1-6 2011, Students participating in PROJECT SHINE, a program of the Greater Men Foundation, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to assist with clean-up efforts after a string of deadly tornadoes ripped through the state.

Students Walter Hawkins, Dahnavon Pippen, Francisco Gutierrez, Alan Shah and Derek Hutton, all seniors at Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska, went on the five-day trip that included cleaning debris, moving lumber and providing bottle water to over 3,000 displaced residents of South Birmingham.

“It was so hard,” said Hawkins, “I was exhausted everyday but helping the people there made me feel better.”

The students stayed in campus housing at the University of Alabama-Birmingham at night and even had a haunting experience with looters as they slept on one particular evening.

“There were people who waited until late at night to steal items from the residents who lost their homes, “commented Pippen, “It made me so mad that I yelled, ‘stop stealing’ into the night when we saw a truck pulling up to an abandoned house and they left.”

The trip was made possible through a financial contribution from Janice and Larry Bankston of Kansas City, Missouri, both alumni of University of Alabama-Birmingham and advisors for the Greater Men Foundation.

“We are so proud of these young men and all of the young people in the Greater Men Foundation. They were eager to help and we were able to provide them with the financial resources to make this trip happen so they could experience what it means to ‘serve’”, said Janice Bankston in regards to the youth who participated in the trip.


“Inspiring, Educating and Enhancing the lives of youth through

Programs, Special Events and Scholarships that teach necessary

Life Skills needed to SUCCEED in all endeavors.

The Greater Men Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that inspires, educates and enhances the lives of youth by providing free programs, special events and scholarship opportunities for youth.

Founded in October 2010 in a response to crime and gang activity in Urban areas, GMF has served over 150 students in Des Moines (Iowa) Kansas City & St.Louis (Missouri), Wichita & Topeka (Kansas), Omaha & Lincoln (Nebraska) and Chicago (Illinois) ages 12-21, through the life skills program, Project SHINE, an 8-week life skills enhancement curriculum that focuses on career development, positive self-esteem, healthy relationships, academic enhancement and teamwork.

For More Information about the Greater Men Foundation, contact Dwight Miller at 515-202-7704