Black Male Responsibility Mentoring Development (BMRMD) is a strength-based psycho-education model that is gender and cultural specific. Being strength-based, BMRMD assesses the inherent strengths of young African American males including their culture of Hip-Hop and builds on them. BMRMD instills spirituality and cultural pride: it uses their personal strengths along with character development to aid in resiliency, empowerment, and delinquency prevention. Through the process of psycho-education, BMRMD seeks to reframe the perception of young Black males to be positively motivated; to find good and a chance of success even in the worst situation. BMRMD is based on the 4R’s of Reality, Responsibility, Respect, and Righteousness with the learning objectives of (1) Maturing to the facts of life, (2) Accountability and Self-Control, (3) Sense of Self-Worth and the worthiness of others, and (4) Moral conduct.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Importance of Mentoring Black Boys

by Matthew Lynch

Like many Black boys growing up in Cincinnati, Wesley Gallaher had dreams of becoming a star basketball player. However, soon after he entered the University of Cincinnati, he was contacted by members of a group called the Hearts and Minds Pipeline Program, which has teamed up with Mercy Health to provide minority students with exposure to medical professions. 

As founder Gary Favors says, “Our Black boys can do more than play athletics. We have to stop pigeon-holing them and start exposing them to other areas of interest.” 

African Americans are underrepresented in the medicine; in fact, only 2.5 percent of medical school entrants are Black, a number that appears to have stagnated a number that appears to have stagnate in recent years.

Favors worked closely with Gallaher, encouraging him to enter the medical field. Gallaher said, “A medical career was never in our scope growing up. It was never about being a doctor or engineer. It was all about being the next LeBron.” 

What Favors and other members of the mentoring group did for Gallaher was broaden that scope. Following Favors encouragement, Gallaher got his degree in medical science and now works as a technician in a lab at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He, in turn, has acted as a mentor in the Hearts and Minds program, offering others the chance to broaden their scope.

In a study of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program published in Sage Journal, researchers Jean Grossman and Joseph Tierney stated: “Over the 18-month follow-up period, youths participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs were significantly less likely to have started using illegal drugs or alcohol, hit someone, or skipped school. They were also more confident about their school performance and got along better with their families” (Grossman and Tierney 1998).

Other studies have turned up similar results. For example, Yolanda Barbier Gibson writes in the Journal of Mason Graduate Research
that African American males in mentoring programs tend to show higher self-esteem, higher levels of academic motivation, and performance. 

Also, evidence shows that when African American males have been given the opportunity to participate in higher education, and when well-conceived and formatted support systems such as mentoring programs are in place, they have been successful.”

At its best, mentoring redirects the focus from sports, music, and video games, giving Black boys support for intellectual pursuit they often lack at home or among their peers. 

An ideal mentor is a successful person in the community: someone who has completed his education and now has a solid job. 

These mentors offer tangible alternatives to the sports-and-entertainment visions Black boys obsess over and are often the only such role models the boys will encounter.

Do you think that providing Black boys with mentors will help them diversify their career options, as opposed to blindly choosing sports or entertainment?

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