Thanks to a generous grant from Capital One, boys from BHC’s Winchester Greens community in Chesterfield were able to participate in the Boys to Men Mentoring program this year. BHC and the mentoring network are partnering to provide leadership training for male residents ages 12 – 17 who live in our rental communities. The program pairs adult male volunteers with the boys to provide guidance and serve as positive role models.
Through team-building exercises, activities and community service projects throughout the year, the boys learn leadership and conflict resolution skills and qualities such as integrity, accountability, respect and compassion. The adult mentors help each teen discover his own potential, and reinforce the concept of personal responsibility to self, family, and community along the way.
Nina Williams, site director at Winchester Greens, says that it has been rewarding to witness the positive changes in the young residents during the Boys to Men program. “By the end,” she says, “the participants visibly demonstrate increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and better coping skills.”
The program culminates in a rigorous three-day Rite of Passage Adventure Weekend in a wilderness setting west of Richmond. 19 boys attended last month, including four from Winchester Greens. Boys who complete the program receive the title of “Journeyman,” and receive additional skills and service training to mentor other young men entering the program.