We have a Boy Crisis in our Country. On average, 32% of boys are raised without a male role model in the home. That one variable causes young men to be nine times more likely to drop out of school, 10 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and 20 times more likely to end up in jail or prison. Boys are twice as likely to end up incarcerated than to abuse drugs and alcohol. A lot of young men are walking around with unresolved anger, grief and sadness. They do not have the support to help them navigate their feelings and act out in unhealthy ways – hurting themselves and everyone around them.
Boys to Men has a solution through a group mentoring program that sends teams of volunteers into San Diego schools on a weekly basis to mentor boys struggling and seeking support. The onsite program is designed to help the boys identify their traumas, beliefs and issues that are in the way of them becoming the good young men they want to be.
When a boy has identified his challenges and made new choices about how he wants to “show up” in his life, Boys to Men offers the second phase, Adventure Mountain Weekend. During this three-day experience, the boys take a deeper dive into the work they have done through the school groups and create a roadmap to becoming the man they want to be. The roadmap includes the blocks, beliefs, issues and traumas that are sabotaging their lives. Through a series of processes, Boys to Men mentors facilitate each boy to a resolution that includes a commitment to move through the roadblocks and an action plan that supports his commitment. All his new choices are documented in writing, and he is handed a copy of his personal roadmap to his own success.
When the boys return to their weekly in-school sessions, the mentors follow up to review commitments made and to help each young man integrate his choices. The mentor’s job is simply to remind the boys of commitments made and support each one in following through on those responsibilities, giving them control of their destiny.
Week by week Boys to Men mentees are getting rid of their secrets, making new choices and receiving consistent, reliable support. They start feeling better about themselves and when they feel better, they do better. The boys have a safe arena where they are honored for their courage and their feelings are validated.
The Boys to Men community mentoring approach is drawing high praise from school principals, administrators and teachers for its documented ability to improve academic performance, attendance and attitude as well as reduce disciplinary issues. This comprehensive approach to transformation has been the hallmark of Boys to Men for more than 25 years.
Join Boys to Men on April 22 at the Rooted in Resiliency Gala celebrating 25 years of changing the lives of young men in San Diego. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (619) 469-9599 or visit www.boystomen.org.