The first annual Boys Empowered Workshop took place on October 17 at the YMCA in Downtown Detroit. Nearly 75 young men woke up early to spend their entire day at this very important workshop.
Their day started with a short presentation from Detroit PAL Director of Athletics, Dewayne Jones. As a group, they discussed character and what it meant to each of the boys. “Character will be who you’re about,” said Dewayne, “Your character will determine how far you go in whatever you decide to pursue.”
The boys then split into two groups. The first group spent the morning with Carl King from Interactive Learning and Education Consulting. They began by getting in groups and receiving their education level for the day. The boys were given a monthly income based on whether or not they went on to earn their Ph.D., Masters, Bachelors, or High School Diploma. Each group had to work together to put together a budget that covered rent, transportation, insurance, groceries, electricity, cable, and other incidentals that occurred. The boys could clearly see how getting a higher education makes managing your money easier, because you will likely have more of it. One young man from the High School Diploma Group stated that, “This is hard! We need to get our life together to make more money.”
When our young men were surveyed following the presentation they were asked if this presentation was a good learning experience for them and 100% of the boys answered ‘yes’. “This was a great experience for me!” said Willie, one of the boys participating, “I’m glad I came here.”
The second group went to work with Jacqueline Baker from Scarlet Communications. They spent the morning learning about etiquette from one of the best etiquette teachers around! The presentation started with an icebreaker, learning the definition of etiquette and learning some basics, such as what side of your body a name tag goes on or how to give a proper handshake. They then worked their way into proper grooming and clothing for certain occasions and social media etiquette. The boys even had the opportunity to work on their public speaking skills and making sure they remained in proper posture, made eye contact, and didn’t fidget. The exercises were a great learning experience for all!
“The Boys Empowered Workshop was all about us empowering our young men. Considering the challenges they face daily, it is important that they are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and resources to help them now and in the future to be successful,” said Dana Cooper, Manager of Youth Enrichment at Detroit PAL, “This is our first time offering it, but we hope to make it an annual event!”
Overall, everyone seemed to have a great day and walked away with a greater knowledge of the tools they need to be successful. By making the presentations interactive and engaging, the boys were able to learn and have fun at the same time. We look forward to holding future workshops and giving more boys the chance to be empowered!
To view pictures from the workshop, click here.