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By Kalia Booker

Steve Harvey takes a break from fighting rumors and mending relationships to mold the lives of young men with his Mentoring Weekend.

In a plaid, hounds tooth suit only Steve Harvey could pull off, the best selling author kicked off The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend at the Davidson Conference Center on USC’s campus. The two day power pack is the condensed edition of the longer version, which takes place over four days in Dallas.

The mentoring program, which is primarily focused on young men from households led by single mothers, serves as a coming of age for many of the youngsters giving them the “Manhood Experience” many lack in their everyday lives.  100 kids, ranging from 13-18 years old, are carefully hand selected for the program and given the awesome opportunity to turn their lives around with the guidance of Steve Harvey and his foundation of support.

That type of turn around is exactly the sort of success Harvey hoped for with the program. “We’ve got kids that were failing who are now B students, kids who were very disrespectful to their mothers who have turned it around and become family protectors instead.  Lots of positive stories.”

With the help of friends like Cedric The Entertainer, Terrence J of BET fame, and Lamman Rucker, the weekend will be full of positive life lesson-type classes with fun activities thrown in for a bit of fun.

It comes as no surprise that yet another endeavor of the one time comedian would thrive, as Steve Harvey is no stranger to success.  His second relationship based book, Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man, debuted on the best sellers list at #1 and his first novel, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man spent a triumphant 64 weeks on the list, becoming the second best selling book of 2009. While Harvey knows his writing career is an amazing accomplishment, he is also well aware it comes at a cost as the media has scrutinized his own personal relationships and his ex wife has come forward with very public YouTube allegations.

“I knew it was all lies from the very beginning,” Harvey defends himself. “It took court documents to come out and prove all that to be true.  The courts finally exonerated me. They tried to make it look like I was a slacker, I was evicting people, and not paying money, and that’s not the case at all. I’ve always done what I was supposed to do. [The negative media] hasn’t made me shy away because I know my heart. My intent is always good with people.”

It seems a road paved with good intentions works in the world of Steve Harvey. The mentoring weekend is already developing into a solid feat, his radio show continues it’s nationally syndicated run, his books continue to sell off shelves, and the romantic comedy adaptation of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man has begun table reads and preproduction.  “I cannot say [what stars] are signed on just yet, but I will probably be in there somewhere, but I won’t be starring. I want the movie to make money, so I’ll get a real movie star to do it.”

It seems very little can stand in the way, and even with the hurdles that have materialized in his path, Harvey seems to have a firm motto for dealing with them. “I gotta just keep pressing on.”

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