Our Positive Youth Development Committee and members of the 100 Black Men of South Florida give their personal time and financial support to an innovative program where we teach male middle school students, grades 6th, 7th and 8th, skills, that our own personal life experiences have taught us, will help these boys to identify and to achieve their dreams and life goals.
The purpose of the “Positive Peer Pressure” (PPP) program is to teach and empower young male middle school students, primarily of African descendants who are currently excelling in academics and behavior to continue to set and achieve positive life goals; how to cope with the peer pressures and the hurdles that we know can deter them from achieving their dreams and life goals. PPP teaches, encourages and gives recognition to these students, which helps them individually, and collectively to build and maintain the self esteem and confidence required to continue to excel academically and behaviorally throughout their academic years and in life.
The PYD committee currently works with school principals and their staffs at Thomas Jefferson, Richmond Middle, Jose De Diego, North Dade, Madison, Miami Edison and Frank C Martin. In prior years we have volunteered at Brownsville Middle, Carol City Middle, Norland Middle, Richmond Heights Middle and other schools. Our members form teams that actively engage these students during school hours, in life discussions about (1) “Goal Setting” which is our first discussion topic each school year. We discuss and teach these boys how and why to set short and long term goals for themselves, we show them how write down their individual goals, how to create action plans and how to measure their progress (2) “Positive Peer Pressure”, here we discuss with these student how they can support one another and create positive peer pressure in their school and at home; how to recognize and deal with negative peer pressures (3) “Academics” here we discuss the relationship between good grades/ good behavior and their future earnings potential. Throughout the year our members expose these students to career opportunities they may have never imagined.
At its core PPP, is the commitment of our members, who take time off from work and arrange their schedules so they interact and share their professional and personal life experiences with these boys. PPP works with approximately 250 boys each year talking with them, sharing knowledge, skills and tools our members know can make a difference in their lives.
PYD seeks to involve the parents, guardians, relatives and siblings of these boys in our mission. We invite parents and friends to our annual “beginning of the school year dinners” where we discuss our program and acknowledge their boys for being selected to participate in the program by their school’s principal. We also sponsor an “end of school year parents and friends’ dinners” where we follow up with theses parents and students to see if we’ve had an impact on them.