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One of Rountree’s latest focuses: youth mentor Vance Williams’ 1310 Dock Street center to create a safe place for young men and women age 14 - 28. an understanding of the English language that will enable him to communicate, in writing and verbally, tersely, accurately, clearly and sensibly,” he says — and math skills. “Those are the kinds of messages I think are important,” Rountree says. “And the people who need to hear them are young people who have lost hope.” His involvement in youth goes far beyond talking. He works behind the scenes, with coaches who have an influence on young people, by trying to get school gyms to open over the summer. One of Rountree’s latest focuses: youth mentor Vance Williams’ 1310 Dock Street center to create a safe space for young men and women age 14-28. Rountree is deeply aware of Wilmington’s tragic past, and the impact that is still being felt today. It is what motivates him to invest his time and treasure in the minority commu-nity. The need, he says, is too great to ignore. “It probably cries out for it, as stridently, with a pitch of rancor and disappointment, that is difficult for an audience to ignore, if you listen to it,” he says. It’s why he invested in tennis great Lenny Simpson, also a Wilmington native, who at 15 became the youngest male to ever compete in the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills. It’s why, chaperoned by Williams and two others, he shared his wisdom and four points for success with six at-risk youths at Port City Chophouse on a fall night in 2014. It’s why he’ll continue to invest in people like Williams who can have an impact in areas he can’t. “Those young people think, ‘You white people don’t understand. You’ve never had the kind of barriers that we’re required to leap.’ And most of the time that’s accurate,” Rountree says. “Vance can make a difference. They believe in him.” Rountree knows that not everyone touched by his giving, speaking, or behind-the-scenes work will have a life-changing experience. But some will, and that makes it worthwhile. “What is the worth of a soul?” he said. “It reminds me of the poem, ‘The Touch of the Master’s Hand,’ that concludes with the comment, ‘and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.’” Want to Feel Like Yourself Again? Bioidentical Hormone Therapy RESTORED ENERGY • WEIGHT LOSS • SEX DRIVE Dr. Chris A. Pate, MD • Obesity Medicine • Sexual Health • Menopause Certified 910-399-6661 265 Racine Drive, Suite 102 Wilmington, NC 28403 BIOSYMMETRY.COM 18 WBM november 2015 George Rountree and Vance Williams at 1310 Dock Street in Wilmington during renovation. trending


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