In my 22 years of working with young men, I have observed several basic needs that are essential for every human being to thrive. Most of these needs are driven by primal desires that are imprinted in our DNA as social beings: the need to be connected, the need to be valued, and the need to have PURPOSE. These exist in all cultures around the planet and tap into a part of our soul that longs to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. This is the need that draws us to fiercely defend our family, religion, country, community, sports teams, etc. Simply put, we all long for a sense of purpose, belonging and connection.
At Boys to Men Mentoring, we address a young man’s primal needs by providing a healthier alternative. We do this by sending teams of men into schools on a weekly basis to build a community of positivity for these young men to lean on.
In order to provide this for our young men, we need caring, committed men. These men are not perfect men by any means, and the process of earning a teenager’s trust is not easy. It requires every man to bear his own vulnerabilities and insecurities for everyone in the group to judge.
But, something magical happens when he does!
The boys begin to trust the men and soon begin to open up themselves creating a circle of brotherhood that I’ve seen change lives.
It is our responsibility to do the work necessary to change the course of our society’s future prosperity.
I’m not saying Boys to Men is “The Answer”, but we certainly are an answer. When we show up, listen, accept, and encourage these boys finally feel safe. When they feel safe they share the truth. When they get honest about their lives, they become aware of options they had not considered. They make better choices, and they feel better. When they feel better they do better. Their grades go up, their attendance goes up, and their disciplinary issues virtually disappear.
So, what am I doing? I will be catching 100 waves in ONE DAY to raise money for BTM, which is the surfing equivalent of running a marathon!
What can you do to support me and the boys who need Boys to Men Mentoring in their lives? You can make a donation to my page and help me get the word out about this event and the good we are doing!
Every dollar helps, so please give what you can to help me reach my goal!
When Boys to Men Mentoring began in 1996, the devastation of fatherlessness on our community fueled their desire to support fatherless teenage boys as they transitioned into adulthood. A boy without a dad in his life is disproportionately more likely to drop out of high school, end up in prison, and commit suicide. Since then, BTM has grown to provide weekly mentorship to teenage boys from all walks of life looking for positive men empower them to be the best they can be.
Today, BTM facilitates weekly group mentoring at over 36 middle and high schools across San Diego County for over 800 teenage boys. To learn more, please visit www.boystomen.org.