DeKalb County Sheriff's Office celebrates graduation for young men's camp

A group of about 15 young men graduated Friday from a new summer program put on by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Melody Maddox said she organized the "Boys to Men" camp to help improve the relationship between law enforcement and boys ages 9 to 16 in the community.

"It's bridging that gap between law enforcement and especially our young men," Sheriff Maddox explained. "These classes are taught by individuals that look like them. So, they are able to look up to these law enforcement officials in a positive light."

The week-long camp included information about how to interact with law enforcement, table manners, how to dress for a job interview, and how to tie a necktie.

Keen Water CEO Faheem Ali also spoke to the campers about how to succeed as an entrepreneur.

"If one kid walks out of here today with something I gave them, then I've done my job and it's the same with this camp," said Ali.

The teens said they will use the skills they learned during the camp for the rest of their lives.

"One thing that I heard that I know for a fact will stick with me--if someone tries to bring you down, don't listen to them," said Jibril Abdur-Rahman, 13. "Try to show that them that you can do what they're saying you can't."

Sheriff Maddox said she hopes to expand the program to more young men next summer.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.