The 14-session Passport to Manhood program is changing the way our young men approach life. John has seen it in so many ways. Just one is the way that the teens are approaching relationships. “Where the boys used to talk about how many girls they could ‘get,’ they are now focused on long-term committed relationships. These young men are talking about attending college with their girlfriends, setting and sharing life goals with each other.” That change in behavior is what ignites John’s passion about the Passport to Manhood programming.
John is expanding his work with teen members, starting the Real Talk program for young men most at-risk. The program focuses on personal responsibility and putting forth a daily effort to make good choices. He doesn’t expect perfection, just effort. John tells the boys, “You are going to make mistakes, I’m still making mistakes!” For him, success is in how the boys handle their mistakes and move forward.
John is grateful to one of his mentors, Teen Center Unit Director Jeffrey Booker, for bringing him back to Benton Harbor and allowing him to work for his dream company. He is committed to the Club and to his role in the lives of Club members, serving as a change agent. “Passport to Manhood is changing the community. It’s a culture-changing program. And it is a chain reaction. When you empower young men to grow into educated adults, they are going to make fewer mistakes and handle problems differently,” says John.