Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. (Becoming A Man™) – Sports Edition is a school-based counseling, mentoring, violence prevention and educational enrichment program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral competencies in at-risk male youth. B.A.M – Sports Edition’s curriculum addresses six core values: integrity, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression, visionary goal-setting and respect for women, as each value relates to personal and academic success.
B.A.M. – Sports Edition addresses key challenges African-American and Latino youth confront daily in some of Chicago’s toughest communities. B.A.M. – Sports Edition focuses exclusively on males because they are vastly more likely than females to be either victims or perpetrators of violent crime. Youth Guidance’s Anthony DiVittorio, L.C.P.C. created B.A.M. in response to an observation that his male students often lacked physical and emotional access to their fathers or other positive male role models. DiVittorio designed the B.A.M. curriculum around an innovative application of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques, resiliency theory and rites of passage “men’s work” that have been demonstrated to successfully help youth improve self-regulation, social skills, and interpersonal skills. B.A.M. is invested in helping youth improve life-long protective factors and reduce behavioral risk factors.
Over the course of 30 weekly sessions, B.A.M. – Sports Edition participants engage in developmentally-based lessons and challenges that promote their emotional literacy, impulse-control, social competence, positive peer relations and interpersonal problems-solving skills. B.A.M. – Sports Edition is designed to help students pass classes, reduce both in-school and out of school suspensions, reduce detentions, increase school attendance, reduce disciplinary problems, and support grade promotion.
Results of the study released in 2012 show that B.A.M. works and is cost-effective. Program participants saw a 10 percent increase in graduation rates, a reduction in failing grades by 37 percent, and a decrease in violent crime arrests by 44 percent. At a cost of $1,100 per participant, the Crime Lab estimates the social benefit/cost ratio to be at least 3:1 per participating youth.
“The University of Chicago Crime Lab study shows that Youth Guidance’s B.A.M. program reduces youth violence, increases school achievement and helps Chicago’s young men reach their full potential. ‘Becoming a Man’ helps young men find evidence of their worth, strengthen their connection to and success in school, and help build safer communities,” stated Youth Guidance’s CEO Michelle Morrison.
B.A.M.’s curriculum is built on six B.A.M. Core Values