FORT MYERS, Fla.- On Thursday, the Fort Myers Police Department will begin a new program called Young Leaders Educating Others or the Young LEO Mentoring Program.

FMPD Dunbar Community Policing Officers created the program with the goal of helping inner city youth build confidence and see themselves in a more self-affirming light. The program will focus on the following:

-Interpersonal and communication skills – how you walk, talk, listen and look

-Esteem development

-Team development

-Youth to youth coaching

The curriculum will include study skills, social relationships, healthy behaviors and other topics for success in school and life. Officer Yvetta Dominique says all young people need guidance and support from caring adults and peers.

The program is for youth ages 12-17. Each participant will be given a t-shirt to wear at scheduled meetings. The logo for the Young LEO Mentoring Program is a lion and represents strength, courage and leadership. Meetings will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Dunbar Community Center located at 1857 High Street. The initial commitment from participating youth is for six months. However, the officers hope participants stay involved with the program to assist in the youth to youth coaching portion of curriculum.