Charles at 15
I have been in the Boys to Men mentoring program for about a year and a half now. I remember that before I came to this program, I wasn’t trying all that hard in school and getting bad grades. I may not have the perfect grades now but they are improving from the advice and talks that have us improve our self-esteem.
One of these topics we mostly talked about was something that we weren’t proud about. For me that was my grades because everybody says I have the potential and I’m a really bright kid and I was always like “yeah right” or “Whatever.” I was suggested to apply myself to school more and even though I still may not have the best grades possible, my promise was that I would try harder this year and I am now passing all but one of my classes now.
I’ve also noticed that many of my problems at home aren’t as bad as they used to be. I was always fighting with my mom and my sister relentlessly and I just couldn’t stop, being the knucklehead I am, fighting over some of the stupidest things on earth like TV. My problems at home have gotten relatively smaller now that I’ve attended Boys to Men and we don’t fight as much as we used to. I gain extensive amounts of knowledge from this program and even gave advice to people at school (which I never did before) and that shocked me, seeing as how many people gave me advice and now I’m giving them advice in return.
Overall, I think I’ve had a change for the better now that I am attending the Boys to Men mentoring program. I’ve made many friends within the program, mentors included. I have fun and don’t have to worry about rejection or being teased while at this “gathering” we have every other week. To me, I believe that if it weren’t for this program and its support, I wouldn’t be progressing as well as I am now that I’ve joined this program.
Sincerely, Charles Smith, Age: 15 May 6, 2002
Willie was 11 years old when he came to the Boys to Men weekend. He lived with his six brothers and sisters in a two bedroom apartment. His home life was violent and he suffered from physical and mental abuse for years.
Willie at 17, In His Own Words
Boys to Men has greatly effected my life in more ways that I could put on paper. At eleven years old I was feeling like I had no purpose, spending everyday filled with self hatred and misguided anger was hard because I was a lonely kid. At twelve years old I began digging my own grave literally in the canyon behind my house because I felt no one loved me. The people who did love me didn’t matter because I lacked love from my mother which was where I wanted it from the most. I ran away from all the help and guidance offered to me.
But by luck Boys To Men intervening was the catalyst for a change in my life so dramatic my whole being was altered. They kept pursuing me because they saw what I could not …. my true potential. Under the cold shell that I presented they saw “Magician”and “Warrior” energy that I didn’t even know existed. I began seeing people in their process of emotional growth and I was amazed.
I feel like now after all of the training’s that I have staffed I can look a kid in eyes who is hurting and in need of some love and I can offer them my love, experience,and wisdom. I would tell that child that “I know you are hurting and that is okay but you don’t have to be strong anymore because I am here for you.” I would relay the exact message that Boys to Men gave to me.
I was only 11 years old living in a violent and abusive home. I was in trouble, but no one cared. Boys to Men showed up and gave me HOPE and helped make me the man I am today.
Now it’s my turn to give back. I’m proud to be a Boys to Men Mentor and help boys like me. I just tell them what I needed to hear, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.