Broderick A. Taylor, or “Mentor Man,” sits inside the church he attends, the City on a Hill Church, 1140 Morrison Drive. Taylor, the executive director of Tomorrow’s Families Today, lived a life of crime growing up, but in the late-2000s, as his faith grew, he began mentoring at juvenile centers. In 2016, he launched the nonprofit Tomorrow’s Families Today. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Broderick A. Taylor was homeless 8 times before he was 15. 

The 51-year-old man grew up in Fort Worth, where a lack of guidance and parental support led him down a path of crime, he said.

“Support and communication with your family is crucial,” Taylor said. “When you have that support, when you have a game plan and you have someone walking you through it, you can change your life before you lose your life.”

Taylor said he knew how it felt to rely on the streets to survive and now talks about being that missing support for youth in his community. Through his nonprofit, Tomorrow’s Families Today, which launched in 2016, he plans to help children become useful to themselves and their communities by participating in service projects, learning financial literacy and practicing faith.

In his childhood, Taylor hustled drugs, fake IDs and Fort Worth Star-Telegram subscriptions, he said. He was even featured in an ad in the paper at one point.

Broderick A. Taylor, right, is featured in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram ad saluting his success at selling newspaper subscriptions in 1989. (Courtesy | Broderick A. Taylor)

“I was good at sales and took those skills and used them the wrong way. I can’t blame anyone for my choices,” Taylor said.

In 1990, Taylor was hit with an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle charge for stealing a golf cart. He received a year’s probation and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, he said. While in the military, Taylor learned his mother was ill and he chose to leave — he turned back to the streets to support his mom and then-wife.

“That’s the only way I knew how to make my bread,” Taylor said. 

After another close encounter with the law, Taylor fled Fort Worth, only to return and get apprehended at his apartment. 

“My mom visited me in jail and it broke me. I was so angry because I never wanted my mother to see me locked up in that position. I was angry with myself and the choices I had made.”

By the grace of God, the organized crime charges against him were dropped, he said. He saw that as an eye-opener: “I need to get out of this,” he told himself.

Broderick A. Taylor talks about his faith journey Sept. 6 at City on a Hill Church. Taylor began mentoring youth at another church before entering juvenile centers. After seeing success with mentorship, he launched Tomorrow’s Families Today while working full-time as a trucker. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

In 2009, he began mentoring youth at his church, which has since closed. Soon after, he used his testimonial at juvenile centers to mentor and teach teenagers what not to do. 

Later, Taylor graduated from Dave Ramsey’s school, a radio personality who talks about finance, got his financial education certificate and currently works as a trucker while running his nonprofit. 

“Community work is hard work. People need to understand that. I came back to the community. The Lord kept tapping me on my shoulder telling me I wasn’t done,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s approach is to bring the services and programming to the community rather than expecting the community to show up at a certain location. He teaches inside barber shops and at clubs. He has plans to host cookouts at parks and lakes this year, too.

“You’ve got to keep it simple. You have to bring this to the community,” Taylor said. “I like to barbecue, so let’s do that while teaching the community about credit scores and credit reports and about eliminating debt.”

The organization’s mission is to assist the entire family to bring itself out of hard financial situations. By teaching families about credit and debt elimination, they will not only have more money to spend in their community but also be able to own businesses and become self-sustained.

First-year TCU student Amarea Anderson-Melton, a graduate of P.L. Dunbar High School, was one of seven students to receive a scholarship from the nonprofit this year. Melton, who is studying criminal justice, said she needed more assistance than what she was receiving through other scholarships. 

“At the time, I was not receiving full-ride offers to schools that I was applying to. Even though I had pretty good scholarships, I needed $20,000 to pay out of pocket,” Melton said. “The scholarship helped tremendously. I got to pay for a book I needed for my major.”

After her undergraduate studies, Anderson-Melton hopes to pursue a law career as a criminal defense attorney, return to school to earn a degree in business and eventually open her own law practice in Fort Worth.

Taylor hopes to continue supporting students pursuing higher education through mentorship and education but realizes that success starts early. 

“We have to start talking about our legacy to the little ones. ‘Hey, my mom is out here with me and my dad is out here with me teaching me things,’” Taylor said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...