Rodney Pelt Honored as Black History Maker of Alabama
Rodney T. Pelt’s roots are grounded in West Alabama. He was born in Tuscaloosa, reared in one of the poorest counties in Alabama. Although miles away from greater opportunities, Rodney didn’t allow his surroundings to determine his direction. At an early age, he joined the military; this allowed him to expand his mind and discover the possibilities he knew existed as a young man. Ultimately, he served 16 years and is now a retired Army veteran.
During his time with the military, he determined he wanted to share these lessons and serve on a smaller scale, having an individualized and thus greater impact. He aimed to return to his roots, West Alabama (Tuscaloosa), and fertilize the minds of the young men and women in his native community. In 2011, he founded Mind Changers, Inc., a non-profit organization established to motivate, empower, and encourage young men and women through mentoring and various resources.
Over the years, through mentorship, Mind Changers has become the positive role model the community needed, so much so Tuscaloosa News recognized Rodney’s work during National Mentoring month highlighting the annual Ties and Pearls Ceremony. This culminating event allows the current elementary and middle school male mentees to receive their neckties, while the young ladies are offered a strand of pearls. This ceremony symbolizes the participant’s commitment to going beyond their circumstances; Ones who will grow and mature into the next generation of citizens who will change West Alabama and the world. To date, over 90% has done just that.
Additionally, Rodney currently serves as a National Board member, Southern Regional Rep. and the President of the West Alabama Chapter of 100 Men of America, a men’s civic organization and service club whose stated goal is to educate and empower African American children and teens. The United Way of West Alabama awarded Rodney the “United in Service Award for West Alabama Young Leaders. As well, he fulfills a role on the Board of Directors for the Sickle Cell Association of West Alabama, serves as Chairman of the West Alabama Coalition for the homeless, and member of the Non-Profit Council of Tuscaloosa. And he is a member of a cohort of leaders selected by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama to advance leaders in the region.
As a husband to Marshae, father to five sons, Damarius, Rodney Jr., Jordan, Gabriel and Warrior, and grandchildren, Trinetty, Dairion, Kydance and Tristan. Rodney’s inspiration and passion often starts at home. His work shows he goes beyond his family and shares his passion and inspiration with others. As a motivational speaker and author of “It Never Fired” published in March 2019, his high energy and dynamic delivery is purposed to push others toward their greatness. Regardless of Rodney’s audience, whether it is young developing minds or adults his goal remains the same, to have a significant influence.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” MLK Jr.
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