BECOMING A MAN
About the Program
Youth Guidance’s Becoming A Man® program (BAM®) is a school-based group counseling program that guides young men in 7-12th grades to learn, internalize and practice social cognitive skills, make responsible decisions for their future and become positive members of their school and community. BAM integrates clinical theory and practice, men’s rites of passage work, and a dynamic approach to youth engagement.
Each session is built around a lesson plan designed to develop a specific skill through stories, role-playing and group exercises. BAM students learn and practice impulse control, emotional self-regulation, recognition of social cues and interpreting intentions of others, raising aspirations for the future and developing a sense of personal responsibility and integrity. Students who participate in BAM are more likely to stay in school, develop healthy relationships, and stay out of the juvenile justice system.
Today, BAM serves more than young men in 145 schools across King County, WA; Los Angeles County, CA; Boston, MA; Kansas City, MO; Dallas, TX; and Chicago, IL. In 2013, former President Obama sat in a BAM group session.
A BAM student was later honored to introduce President Obama when he announced his My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is focused on the life successes for boys and young men of color. In 2021, former President Obama reunited with the group of BAM alumni whom he met in 2013 to reﬂect on fatherhood, leadership and legacy with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
THE BAM CURRICULUM EMPHASIZES SIX CORE VALUES
WHERE WE ARE
Today’s youth face many obstacles. Community violence and other stressors create at-risk environments where making positive life choices can feel impossible. It’s easy for young men, particularly from disadvantaged communities, to become angry and afraid. It’s easy for them to follow negative influences that lead to serious trouble. It’s easy for them to drop out of school.
In 2001, the Becoming A Man (BAM) program was launched in Chicago to help young men navigate difficult circumstances that threaten their future. Program founder Anthony Ramirez-Di Vittorio created a safe space for young men at Clemente High School to openly express themselves, receive support and develop the social and emotional skills necessary to succeed. Now in its 19th year, the BAM program serves more than 8,000 youth in 140 schools.
BAM Boston is made possible through a wonderful partnership with Boston Public Schools (BPS) and with philanthropic support from Strategic Grant Partners (SGP), The GreenLight Fund and The Boston Foundation.
To ensure sustainability, a BAM Boston Advisory Council has also been implemented. Each council member has a strong desire be actively involved in solving the issues inner-city youth face, and will devote their time, talent and expertise to the current and future work of the Boston program.
Becoming A Man (BAM) and Working On Womanhood (WOW) are nationally recognized social-emotional learning programs that equip students with confidence and skills they need to thrive in school and in life.
Youth Guidance is proud to partner with Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and the City of Dallas to deliver BAM & WOW in six DISD schools.
Youth Guidance is delighted to announce the launch of BAM® and WOW® in Kansas City, MO in January 2021.
BAM and WOW are highly engaging school-based counseling and mentoring programs that promote social-emotional and psychological well-being, strong school engagement, and increased academic attainment for students in grades 7-12.
We’re partnering with Hickman Mills C-1 School District to provide programming at Smith-Hale Middle School and Ruskin High School. BAM and WOW’s work in Kansas City are supported by GreenLight Fund Kansas City, Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.