Mayor uses 404 Day to start youth outreach, making sure they get on the right path

ATLANTA — Tuesday is 404 Day in Atlanta and the city’s mayor says this year will be all about our kids.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said that he wanted 404 mentors to step up and help local kids stay away from violence – and ended up with even more.

“As of a few minutes ago, we exceeded the 404 and we hit 425 mentors,” Dickens said during a 404 Day event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center.

Dickens also put out a call for young lifeguards – 60 of them – which the city will train and pay $15 an hour.

The mayor deemed 2023 “the year of the youth,” with initiatives to combat gangs, drugs, and other crimes involving teens.

He’s using the website to offer alternatives, like jobs and scholarships.

But he believes mentors will be the key. It’s something he had as a kid himself.

“I want what I had some dozens of years ago for these young people to have the same experience. Mentor-mentee relationship is going to be for one year, but I hope it lasts a lifetime,” Dickens said.


The mentors will get trained and paired with a kid through Big Brothers Big Sisters—a nonprofit known for its mentoring programs.

“Ninety-five percent of young people we serve graduate high school on time. Ninety-nine percent avoid the criminal justice system. Mentorship is more essential than ever, in this post covid world for young people,” said Kwame Johnson, president of metro Atlanta Big Brothers Big Sisters.

This is the twelfth year for 404 Day in Atlanta, where all things Atlanta are celebrated in style.

The mayor and some of his team even rocked the bright, new 404 shoes on Tuesday.

“Just trying to be cool kids around here,” Dickens said.

He said the shoes were another way to identify with the teens he’s working so hard to reach.

If you’d like to take part in the mentorship program, CLICK HERE.