Boston mentoring program

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BOSTON – Anthony Thompson loves to share his life experiences with young men in Boston. The fashion mentor wanted to give back to his community, so he started “Follow Suit.”

“When I talk to a young man and I put him in front of me, I’m talking to me. I’m that same young man at 14 in that chair that I’m expressing to him about the pitfalls and the mistakes that he can make,” Thompson told WBZ. “We always say, when you look good, you feel good, you are going to act good. so it’s always dress for success.”

The 7-to-9-week workshop uses the promise of a free tailored suit to point kids in the right direction.

“Unfortunately, a lot of them, the first time they put on a suit, is going to a funeral and it’s because of some kind of gang violence or some kind of tragedy to another young man,” Thompson said.

The young men learn about the suit but they also learn about healthy relationships and financial literacy. When they finish, that’s where Gilbert White of The Thirds Custom Clothing comes in.

“I really enjoy teaching the piece of young men about the parts of a suit, because many of them don’t know, when you’re just using the language. So, when they go to stores later on in their life, they can just talk about it,” White told WBZ.

These are steps in a positive direction that, in the end, have young adults feeling better about themselves and their outlooks.

“They just change. You send them in the back, they come in with sweatpants on and then they come back in and they start to stand up even straighter,” White said.

Young men wearing their new suits from Anthony Thompson’s “Follow Suit” mentoring program in Boston.

Anthony Thompson

“Once they get through all the steps of the workshops, they all buy in to the whole thing and they are so excited about getting their suits. They act a fool when they get the suits and it just breaks my heart. I just feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do that for them,” Thompson said.

For more information, visit his website.

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