Building Community Through A Mentoring Program for Boys
Published on December 1st, 2019 in Fair Share Housing Development
By Jesuit Volunteer Scott Henderson
Every few months at the Education Center, we host a “Boy’s Night” event. We invite any boys, ranging from kindergartners to twelfth graders, to attend. Our aim in hosting these nights is to provide a space for our male students to discuss what masculinity means, how that manifests in their daily lives, and to share both their struggles and privileges related to their male identity.
We break out into smaller groups of distinct ages, so that the conversations can be tailored to the children’s maturity and current stage of their lives. Further, we ask fathers and other male members of the community to facilitate the different groups of kids. We believe that mentoring and having strong role models is an essential component in the development of our children, and so we strive to provide a strong connection to older members of the community.
We are impressed with the willingness of our kids to engage in these discussions, as they often ask, “When is the next Boy’s Night going to be?” and are excited to be there when we do host these events.
We hope these spaces allow our students to discuss their experience growing up as a male and serve as a reminder to our boys that they are supported by the entire Ethel Lawrence Homes community.