Boys to Mentors
Young Men's Empowerment
The Leadership Program’s young men’s program – Boys to Mentors – is designed to support young men in entering adulthood as future-conscious, socially responsible, and communicative persons.
Curriculum components include:
- Introduction: Elements of leadership
- What’s Up: Identity
- Step Up: Interacting with Others
- Man Up: My Roles as a Man
- Stay Up: Future Plans
Lesson topics within these components address issues such as male identity development, personal hygiene, heritage, respect for all, gender issues, healthy relationships, effective communication, investment in education, social responsibility, dealing with authority figures, goal setting, values and priorities, decision making, resilience, thriving in college, career interests, and more. The program culminates in a final project with an advocacy or community service focus.
Recognizing the energy and developmental needs of young men, each lesson is devised to include some movement; a mock snowball fight using crumpled paper to share ideas, a series of opinions that are expressed silently by changing locations in the room, or more rigorous physical activity. Additionally, activities are differentiated to engage young men whose interests may range from athletics to poetry, from music to drawing.
Each Boys to Mentors lesson has an intentional literacy element, providing lesson vocabulary, informational reading and writing material, and ample occasion to engage in public speaking and group presentations. Field trips related to lesson themes are suggested and encouraged, offering young men new experiences beyond their community and school.
Research has shown that when youth are involved in programs of this kind, they demonstrate stronger school connectedness and improved attitude toward investment in academics, and take more leadership roles with peers and younger students. The through-line of leadership built into this curriculum teaches participants the skills necessary to thrive as pro-social adult males in their communities.