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Hundreds of mentors commit to Atlanta's youth on '404 Day', mayor says

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced the 404 mentorship challenge success, as a part of his Year of the Youth Initiative.

ATLANTA — In honor of 404 Day, Mayor Andre Dickens called upon 404 community members to commit to mentoring Atlanta's children for the next year.

Dickens announced Tuesday morning that at least 425 people had signed up so far. The challenge is all a part of the mayor's Year of the Youth Initiative– designed to help Atlanta's children get the resources needed to live a successful life.

Atlanta native Katie Rhodes said she believes mentoring Atlanta's youth is essential to combatting violence. 

"I always believe you reach one, you teach one," she said. 

Rhodes said she grew up working as a lifeguard at the city's recreation centers, and she's seen how these kinds of opportunities can change someone's trajectory.

"It keeps them structured and it gives them a bond and a safe haven," Rhodes added. 

Through a partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Dickens said the youth mentorship program known as the 404 mentorship challenge is designed to connect Atlanta's children with better opportunities.

RELATED: Big Brothers, Big Sisters work to recruit mentors for 404 Day

During Dickens' State of the City address last week, the mayor said it would take a village to tackle violent crime and its impact on children.

The mayor also announced that the city is creating a creative ambassador program, which will match children with people in various industries like podcasting and film. Dickens said he hopes to reach kids, who display an interest in entrepreneurship like the youth seen selling water.

“There are kids that just want a fair shake and opportunity at having a successful life," he said. 

Dickens also revealed that the city would be handing out over $44,000 in scholarship funds to 44 children.

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