KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Inside Shiloh Presbyterian Church in East Knoxville an important ministry for men is going on. Young men, many from single-parent homes, spend a large part of their summer at UUNIK Academy.
Reginald Jenkins founded UUNIK Academy in 2003. He is one of four Knoxville-area men who will be honored at the annual Father’s Day luncheon hosted by the Beta Theta Boule Foundation.
After working with Knox County Schools and many programs with children though the years, Reginald Jenkins knows what children need to become adults of good character. At UUNIK Academy, he builds in time for talking, listening, life lessons and learning in a relaxed, yet structured, atmosphere..
“Before you get an education, you have to read,” said Reginald Jenkins. “One of the things I noticed in a lot of various programs and after school, there wasn’t a lot of academic and nurturing going on, particularly with African American youth. ”
His goal is to help kids learn how to live to their potential.
Roy Moore, 14, has been in the program for four years. He keeps coming back because he sees its value.
“Learning more, just the activities we do and like the friends I make over the years,” said Moore.
Reginald Jenkins works on building trust and accountability as he teaches life skills. It is what he and his wife of 20 years, Kamesha, want for their four-year-old son Jabari. Kamesha Jenkins says her husband deserves to be in the spotlight for who he is in the community and at home.
“He’s a great husband, he’s an awesome dad, he’s very hands-on, and even though he’s busy, like doing a lot for other people,” said Kamesha Jenkins. “He’s one of those guys that washes dishes, washes clothes, cooks, he does all that stuff.”