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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hinds

Boys To Men: The Impact of Male Mentorship in Schools

I kicked off a group at my first school where I was principal, starting with just a couple of guys, mostly raised by single moms or grandmas. They needed some time with other guys and a male figure in their lives.


My schedule was crazy, but early mornings before school worked out. The moms and grandmas were awesome, getting the kids there by 6:15 every Friday morning. We’d hang out, have breakfast, clean up around the school, and move stuff around. It wasn’t about what we were doing; the boys just enjoyed the time together. It was about giving them space to chat and be themselves.


It wasn't a big formal thing, just something necessary.


Then at my second school, I met some great male teachers who really cared about their students and those in the school. We were talking one day and I told them about my “Guys’ Club,” and they jumped on the idea, turning it into “Boys to Men,” an afterschool club for the older boys to learn good manners, etiquette, how to tie a tie, and other needed life skills. They really shaped it up into something regular and useful.


3 male students with backpacks smiling at camera and back and front of Boys To Men coin


I had dinner recently with one of these teachers, Larry Jentz, and he gave me a special coin from the club with their motto about keeping promises and staying strong. It shows how much this club has grown.


If I say I’m going to

do something

I DO IT!

If I give my word

I DO IT!

If I talk it

I WILL WALK IT!

When it gets hard?

I GAVE MY WORD

If something comes up?

I GAVE MY WORD

Talkers talk

WALKERS WALK!

Who are we?

BOYS TO MEN – ENCINO PARK


Mr. Jentz has even put together a curriculum for this club, hoping to spread the idea to more schools.


The lesson structure is: a focus point for the meeting, optional short video on the topic, a teacher-led discussion, breakout groups discussions and, finally, whole group discussion on implementation moving forward. Being a Gentleman is a CHOICE. It’s something we choose to do every day. Some days we may be more successful than others, but we never give up trying to be our best. 


Pillars of the club: anti-bullying, avoiding unhealthy things, character development, compassion, confidence, courage, ethics, etiquette, fairness/justice, gratitude, honesty, integrity, leadership, patriotism, resilience, respect, serving others, sportsmanship, trust, work ethic and the importance of community service.


Boys to Men was featured on a local news station a few years ago, and it's still going strong.


Want to learn more about this mentorship program? Contact me at jlhindsconsulting@gmail.com.


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