A Group of High Schoolers Set Out to Make Respectful Men in their Community For Generations to Come

“I live in a small, rural town that consists of a population of around 700 people. My school district is a combination of the town I live in along with another neighboring town. Their population only consists of around 500 people. The issue that I have noticed, specifically in our school district, is the decline in respect and courteousness in our young men. I am a senior in high school this year and I constantly hear stories about the way some of the grade school and middle school boys act toward others. I also witness some of these mannerisms in the high school.”

“The solution that the group of us guys has come up with is to start weekly challenges for the grade school students that would last 1-2 months and would bring out the courteous side that all of these young men have. The goals that we have come up with for the month of January are to show politeness (say please and thank you, do not chew with your mouth open, etc.), hold the door for others, and say something kind to a different person each day of the week. Our group has also already scheduled a speaker to come and present to the middle school and high school men. This presentation is called “Man2Man” and showcases the positive impact that young men can make and should play in reducing gender and relationship violence, as well as how to be a leader, and make a positive difference in the community around them. This presentation also describes how men should be encouraged to express their emotions and not feel as if they need to hide the emotions as they are pressured to do so by society.”

“Our goals from this project are to see improvement and growth of leadership and interpersonal skills in young men. Hopefully, long-term these young men will have a better understanding of what it takes to be a good leader and that being a man does not mean that they have to put on a “shell” like society may have trained them.”

“Our group has been meeting with the grade school students every Friday during the month of January to hand out fake mustaches to all of the students who completed the weekly challenge. We also describe the next week’s challenge. I feel that the steps that I take to improve my community have an impact on the world that we should take care of so dearly.”

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