Larry Roberts
Fayette County Attorney

201 East Main Street
Suite 600
Lexington, KY 40507

Phone:
(859) 254-4941

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Golden Apple Recipient - Gerald Gibson

Gerald Gibson

Gerald Gibson, who as a child lacked a strong male role model and made many poor choices, started as a volunteer in the Fayette County Attorney’s Office and eventually was hired as an interventionist. Dixie Magnet Elementary appreciates Gibson and his program, Operation Making A Change, which aims to help boys understand the importance of making good decisions. Reflecting on his younger years, he created OMAC and now shares it through partnering with attorney Larry Roberts and former police officer Greg Howard.

Gibson piloted OMAC at Dixie with a half-dozen fifth-grade boys. Teachers chose the students based on who would benefit from a male mentor and/or had noticeable leadership potential. The change in attitude and self-confidence among the piloted group persuaded Dixie to expand the program in 2014-2015. Last year, Gibson met with about 20 fourth- and fifth-graders once a week, teaching them about leadership and what it takes to become a successful young man. Gibson takes time to get to know each child as an individual, and each boy knows that he believes in them. He often calls or stops by Dixie throughout the week to check on the boys and let them know that he expects them to always set a good example.

During the 30 minutes that Gibson meets with this group, he plans meaningful discussions about the importance of education, being respectful and showing responsibility. He coordinates fun and engaging team-bonding activities as well. Support from the Fayette County’s Attorney Office also allows this team of boys to take field trips, such as a visit to Bluegrass Christian Camp where they participated in team-building activities, learned about good sportsmanship through competitive sports, produced an art project, and even strapped on a harness to swing out over a cliff.

The OMAC program has positively impacted the climate at Dixie as the OMAC boys were assigned to mentor younger students and play it forward. In reviewing office referral data for student behavior, Dixie found that between August 2013 and February 2014, there were 65 referrals involving fourth- and fifth-grade boys. In 2014-2015, the number was cut to only nine. Dixie believes that Gibson’s enthusiasm and dedication make a difference in the lives of its students by inspiring, motivating and encouraging them to be role models, leaders and high achievers.

Golden Apple Recipients

Video Interview with Gerald Gibson