The constant daily grind of high school shows little mercy to the active student. Classes, clubs and sports all demand constant attention. With this in mind, GHS has provided an opportunity for both mental and social recuperation: The Young Men of Purpose.
The Young Men of Purpose (YMP) is a youth organization first organized by Roy Dobbs, an author of the original YMP book. He worked to improve the lives of young men by providing mentorship.
“It addresses what young men are going through and will encounter at some point in time,” Principal Todd Garrison said.
The club meets every two weeks in the connections room to discuss problems and promote positive mental health. It is open to any male interested in community and mentorship.
“It’s about bringing a bunch of guys together and giving them a platform in which they can talk and mentor one another,” Mr. Benjamin Sutton, social studies teacher, said.
Several teachers are involved, each wishing to show students how positive mentors helped them develop into passionate educators.
“I grew up with mentors, and now I get to turn around and give back that favor,” Mr. Sutton said.
Having a mentor present and willing to listen is a sizable asset. Often possessing schedules and complex personal lives, students have the opportunity to talk about their personal problems in a positive environment.
“It’s mostly just for the support. I have a lot of problems going on right now,” sophomore Caleb Kennedy said. “It seems like sometimes at home I don’t get enough support.”
Dobb’s ultimate goal was to turn young men into optimistic, driven adults, and a mentor can be the perfect starting point.
“A lot of the young men that he was trying to help out maybe didn’t have a male role model in their life and needed someone to help guide them in a better direction,” Officer FN Eck, GHS resource officer, said.
Eck understands the value of mentorship.
“I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a dad in my life who has showed me right and wrong, who’s disciplined me when I messed up and praised me when I have done good,” Eck said. “I find that’s important to have in one’s life.”
The club provides an opportunity to grow both as a mentor and as a mentee.
“I think if they could go up and talk to someone who is willing to share, that helps them to be open in return,” senior Luke Roscoe said. “I would say that from popular culture now, people don’t want to open up as much.”
However, the Young Men of Purpose is working to change this by showing that all young men are loved, valued, and, most importantly, heard.
“We want all of our members to influence even more people. It’s not just a situation where we are trying to help the young men in the group, but that their impact is seen not just in school, but in the community,” Mr. Garrison said.