The Journey Program Spotlight: Passport to Manhood
“Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be or doing what you want to do while you're on the journey. But you've got to be willing to have vision and foresight that leads you to an incredible end,” says singer/songwriter/actor and Boys & Girls Clubs alum Usher Raymond. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, the Passport to Manhood program is preparing young men for the journey to those incredible endings.
Our young men today face daunting odds in life. From growing up in high-crime neighborhoods to a lack of strong male role models, the challenges are profound. Passport to Manhood gives youth and teen members the best chance to avoid the many pitfalls on the path to achieving Great Futures. In the Passport to Manhood program, young men are learning about responsibility, positive behavior and character development.
Passport to Manhood addresses age-specific issues young men between 9-18 years old encounter. Topics include ethics, decision-making, wellness, ideas about fatherhood, employment and careers, cooperation and conflict, diversity, relationships, and self-esteem. Club members participate in the 14-session program that concentrates on the various aspects of manhood through intense, highly interactive activities.
Recently, members at the Youth Campus were asked to write a letter to their fathers. Although many of the boys do not have relationships with their fathers, working through their emotions with the support of their peers and Club instructors, the project helped the boys explore their feelings and understand how to move forward in life.
Every Club participant is issued his own “passport” to underscore his personal journey of maturation and growth. Throughout the program, young men write in the passport, documenting their adventures in the various sessions. At graduation from Passport to Manhood, the young men are able to look back and reflect on the lessons that meant the most to them. With each milestone achieved, members in the program progress one step closer to manhood.
On Wednesday, May 4, the Clubs’ Passport to Manhood celebration breakfast will recognize the hard work and achievement of 50 Club members completing the program and will honor one member as the Young Man of the Year.