Our programs are not designed to replace school programs, local church initiatives or the role of fathers, father figures and other role models. We exist to link up with them and add support. Where advisors, information and sponsorship is needed, we come alongside to help “the village” get our young men across the finish line and into the next leg of the race. Our programs are offered to students free of charge.
Our programs center around five key components:
- Suits – the look of success. We provide participants with a tailored suit to help them understand what it feels like to wear blazer, slacks and shirt, a nice tie, cufflinks, socks and shoes. We want them to know how to properly wear a suit, tie a tie and coordinate accessories. This will prepare them for future job interviews, special events, networking functions and other professional scenarios. We want them to stand out because they are sophisticated and debonair, not because they look like they are out of place or uncouth.
- Education – the tools for success. We show participants how to conduct business in the marketplace and understand the nuances of business – how to uncover and leverage resources, engage people of influence and maximize significant opportunities. We provide leadership principals and teach them how to demonstrate leadership in every environment. Our education classes, workshops and special events are designed to train and cultivate the leaders of today and tomorrow.
- Etiquette – the culture of success. Culture is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. We want participants to know the code. We want them to be sophisticated. We believe it will prevent embarrassment from behavior that is unbecoming or offensive. In a professional setting, not employing proper etiquette can prevent them being hired or promoted, from closing the deal, or could even get them fired. For this reason, we integrate etiquette instruction into our education modules, workshops and special events.
- Mentoring – the example of success. The Harvard Business Review put it best: “In the arts it is an accepted fact that a young person learns the trade best when studying with a master. In business, too, the importance of the mentor relationship for a young person’s development has been documented...” Our mentor initiatives are designed to help students “see” success and “speak to” success. We want participants to interact with and glean from persons who have gone before them and set an example – who have walked in their shoes, understand their challenges, and have overcome to realize success.
- Scholarships – the means to success. Financial assistance is a necessity for many college students, particularly those planning careers that require many years of education beyond the undergraduate level. According to a study conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, working while in college is the number one reason people drop out. Having a scholarship that pays for their education and living expenses can actually reduce their risk of dropping out and not getting the degree they want. They may even be able to consider a more selective institution or major. By reducing financial concerns, scholarships can also mean more time for studying and learning, which can lead to better grades and retention of knowledge and increase your chances for continuing on to graduate school. Like grants, our scholarships do not have to be repaid.