Mentors provide a positive influence

By Tanikka Thomas
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE

Whether you or your family resides, goes to school or has visited Durham, you know or have heard about some of the neighborhoods and how drugs and violence can influence a community.

Northeast Central Durham has received special attention because of the crime rate and drug usage. The impact of these problems on children’s live can be especially troubling. Albert Marsh, through Britton and Crump, Incorporated is working every day to provide a better place for kids.

Marsh, 26, and a mentor at Britton and Crump knows all about the importance of children being reared in the right direction at an early age, no matter where they come from.

“I looked at all of the guys I went to school with and realized their life was heading nowhere fast and the main reason is because they didn’t have a strong father figure in their home to show them the right way to go,” says Marsh. “I was blessed enough to have one that showed me at a young age that I had other options.”

Raised in Saint Pauls, North Carolina, he saw older kids all around him that were doing illegal things, disobeying their parents and growing up way before their time. Albert decided at a young age he did not want to go down that path.

He wanted to stay focused on his schoolwork and play his favorite sport, football. He also enjoyed playing video games in his youth and following Nascar. He jokes about being a 6 ft. 5 in. 10-year-old.

Marsh majored in recreation at N. C. Central University. “I knew right away what I wanted my major to be because I wanted to help children better themselves in every way possible.”

Marsh began working at Britton and Crump in October in 2007. His job duties are to assist young men and women ages 5-15 with social development skills, positive action and how to act in the community.

Britton and Crump, located at 121 Hunt Street, in Durham is an accredited community-based therapeutic mental health agency.

They provide a camp for children, intensive in-home, and outpatient therapy.

Marsh also believes that church was very important in his young life and that he wouldn’t have gone far without God leading his life.

“I joined the choir when I was three. I stayed in it until I graduated from high school,” says Marsh. “Church was a good place to go to clear my mind of everything that was going on around me. The stress from school and football would sometimes be overwhelming. Church was a great escape.”

In parts of Durham, facilities such as Britton and Crump help young kids.

“These kids are tons of fun,” says Marsh. “Every single child I work with has a bright future ahead of them but I always remind them that there is life outside of Durham. I tell them that they can be whatever it is that they want and I want nothing less of them than success.”

Britton and Crump has facilities in Durham, Person, Orange, Chatham, Rowan, Davidson, Cabarrus, Union, Stanley and Iredell counties.