Men of Whitney fosters open, honest discussion
Tags: Job Corps | Men | Social Development | student life | Student services | whitney m young job corps

Men of Whitney fosters open, honest discussion

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

This philosophy forms the core of Men of Whitney, an on-campus program at Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center designed to help male students connect with men who can help them navigate the challenges of growing up. The program meets every other week.

“While the students are away from their home environment, where they may or may not have strong male role models, we want to step in and provide some basic male modeling,” said Gary Brown, one of the two staff members who helps run the program.

Men of Whitney meetings usually involve either a discussion or an activity that men might enjoy. In the past, the activity sessions have included everything from grilling the perfect burger to learning how to operate a riding mower and basic car maintenance.

The discussion meetings, on the other hand, are a place for the young men to approach difficult and emotional subjects such as what it means to be a man, how to manage emotions such as anger, how to deal with an absentee father.

“It’s designed with privacy in mind and open and honest discussion,” Brown said.

And at its best, the program gives staff a chance to grow and bond with students in a whole new setting. Brown has seen students show growth and maturity as a result.

“The role models that society provides are not always healthy examples of manhood,” Brown said. “We want to provide a more healthy example.”

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