While he understands there has only been one perfect human being ever, Mike Andrews nonetheless expects a pursuit of the same from the young men in his organization.
After all, the group is named the Young Kings of Excellence (YKE).
The organization’s mission is to equip and empower young men to achieve spiritual, academic, financial and social success. The focus is to foster a cultural, environmental and mental acumen which will translate into the attainment of stellar leadership qualities and service to our communities at large.
“We seemed to come across several young men in Cedar Hill High School who lacked a father figure in the home and we realized that, statistically, we can direct that to many ills that challenge – particularly young African American males,” said YKE co-founder Mike Andrews. “We are aware that there is a direct correlation between the lack of a father figure in the home and the development of a criminal lifestyle.”
So, Andrews and his friend, Dr. Lonnie Woods, Esquire, started organizing the group in October 2021. The first meeting was a month later, and the first annual Meet & Greet Christmas Party was in December. Now they meet on a monthly basis.
YKE has nine official members ages 13 to 17. As of their last meeting at the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce they now have three honorary members from Duncanville.
Duncanville Panthers Ron Holland, Jackson Prince and KJ Lewis spoke to the group, which for this meeting was 20 people. Holland is the most decorated high school basketball player in Texas history, Prince is Duncanville High School’s valedictorian and Lewis has committed to play for the University of Arizona.
“We believe the greatest impact for our youth would be to experience and connect with athletes that they are aware of locally,” Andrews said. “We felt that they would be more impressed with super stars that grew up the the same type communities – believing that if they could achieve such success in the same schools and same area, then we could do the same.”
The trio spoke on “hard work ethic & academic excellence.”
Now that YKE is fully underway, Andrews said plans are to be involved in the community quite a bit.
“We are in the process of preparing our members to actively participate in the voting campaign. We are seeking input from Cedar Hill officials as to how our youth can directly aid in assisting and addressing special areas of need of the community,” he said.
Andrews believes his is the only organization of its kind in the area in or around Cedar Hill. However, he’d like to see more, not just locally, but everywhere in the land.
“We are not aware of a similar organization in Cedar Hill or South of I-20,” he said. “And we have no doubt that there is a need for this type of organization throughout the country.”