About the Boys To Men Mentoring Network
The Boys To Men Mentoring Network is a multi-faceted community effort. First, the men in the community step up to be mentors. Second, community involvement and families get their sons involved. Third, young men who are involved in the program act as "Journeymen" -- "I Am On A Journey"
This very successful national mentoring program provides boys between the ages of 12 and 17 the opportunity to regularly interact with committed, conscientious male mentors. The Boys to Men (BTM) model is unique in that it is based on a proven and successful three-part program that actually starts with the mentor. Boys to Men, founded in San Diego, California in 1997 discovered, through their initial attempts at establishing mentor programs, that the men are not only the key but also the most hesitant players in the program. Because of a number of reasons (general fear, concern over time commitments, not wanting to let the kid down) men were reluctant to join the program. Consequently, the founders of BTM set out to develop a mentoring program that addressed this need. It has evolved into a unique and highly successful model that includes a three-part program:
BTM recruits mentors (adult man) for each young man who goes through the Rite of Passage weekend. BTM uses 1:1 Mentoring, Group Mentoring or a combination of both. There is a 48-hour mentor training program that mentors complete prior to the weekend. Each mentor commits to attend community meetings with his mentee or the group of mentees for a full year. Each mentor must pass a background check . The mentor’s purpose is to guide, support and help reinforce new, healthy male behaviors.
BTM provides boys with a "rite of passage" adventure (ROPA) weekend where positive qualities such as integrity, courage, respect, passion, and leadership are modeled by more than 40 well-trained adult male staff and Journeymen (J-men) graduates from earlier trainings. Through a series of carefully facilitated processes, each boy discovers something of the tremendous magnitude of his own humanity Boys are challenged and supported in new ways, and find that they can respond in new ways.They find their own integrity, courage, respect, passion, and leadership and they discover that they can access these qualities and put them to work. It is an exhilarating, life changing experience that many say they will never forget. But it is only an initiation—a beginning.
Building on the rite of passage adventure weekend, young men and their mentors come together every two weeks to play, eat, and further develop the new insights and capacities gained from the weekend. Community groups provide the forum for ongoing education, empowerment, and support and allow the young men to continue to strengthen relationships with peers. Additionally, many of our Journeymen (boys who have completed the Rite of Passage Weekend) volunteer to staff and assist the new boys entering the program.
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