The Boys to Men (BTM) curriculum incorporates holistic, intergenerational, and asset-based mentoring practices to encourage community involvement, intensive self-reflection, positive critical thinking habits, and self-accountability among the young men it serves.
The curriculum covers a 32 week schedule designed to help teenage boys cope with typical problems and issues at home and school and bring awareness and intention to the important choices all boys face in their adolescent development.
Each meeting begins with a check-in round. A mentor models the check-in by sharing his teenage experience on that week’s topic. One of the most important tenets of BTM is the mentor does not teach, lecture or tell boys what to do. He just tells his story and talks about the feelings he had when he was a teenager, the mistakes he made, the lessons he learned and the long-term consequences of his actions.
This approach gives the boys permission to tell the truth about the challenges all teenage boys face, make their own decisions on how to deal with those challenges, and begin to take responsibility for their choices and the consequences of their actions.
Discussion topics include:
Every fourth week, groups participate in a fun, physical activity like dodgeball, touch football or basketball. At approximately 12 weeks of group meetings, the boys are invited to attend the Rites of Passage Adventure Weekend. This powerful weekend experience further deepens the trust and connections between boys and their mentors.
Additional program elements include community service projects, fishing trips, football games, campouts, and leadership development weekends.
Potential mentors are interviewed and carefully screened, must pass a background check, and fulfill any additional school district background check requirements.
All mentors are required to attend a mentor orientation and receive ongoing feedback and training from BTM staff before and after every weekly session.
The group mentoring model allows BTM staff to monitor and evaluate the mentor’s interactions with the boys. All facilitators are trained to spot signs of predatory behavior. We frequently discuss predatory behavior at group sessions and instruct boys and mentors to immediately report ANY concerns or inappropriate behaviors to staff. All mentors are mandated reporters and work directly with the school partner to address any safety concerns that may arise.