R.E.A.L. Men (Responsible Educated Aware Leaders)

R.E.A.L. Men is a program for young men between the ages of 9 and 16 designed to provide opportunities to engage in activities of self-exploration and development. Activities such as workshops, discussion groups, team-building exercises, and academic enhancement programs (combined with the latest in youth development best practices and research-based curricula) will be employed to address the challenges and opportunities that young men encounter; specifically in the area of academics, personal development (self-awareness, esteem building, responsibility, role awareness, etc.), community engagement and social responsibility and competency.

The core component of the R.E.A.L. Men program is the Boys Council curriculum. The Boys Council curriculum is a 10-week, strength-based curriculum that will promote more positive relationships with everyone in the young men lives. Facilitated in a non-threatening, positive, dynamic, and mutually beneficial environment, Boys Council serves as a building block to stronger, more viable young men.

Additionally, a supplemental cognitive behavior modification curriculum entitled Thinking for a Change (T4C) will be used to challenge young men to think before they act and achieve positive outcomes for situations with potentially negative consequences. Through 22 lessons, young men will utilize role play to challenge their conventional thinking and approach to negative situations and mentally revise and apply the new approaches in their lives.

Along with Boys Council and T4C, each participant receives academic enhancement assistance through the New Century Learning Center with the expected outcome of increased competency in all major subject areas. Furthermore, physical activity, community involvement, alongside other professionally facilitated workshops, will create an environment conducive to the holistic development of each young man; hence producing responsible, educated, aware leaders.

Participation in all components of the program entails daily attendance for four days (Monday-Thursday) with an hour of educational enhancement, and an hour of Boys Council or T4C. Other activities such as computers, karate, dance, and non-center based activities will be scheduled within the framework of a program week and/or as necessary.