FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2019
CHICAGO, IL — Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has been named the Founding Executive Chair of the National BAM Advisory Council, which will advance the national expansion of the evidence-based Becoming A Man® (BAM®) program, developed and implemented by nonprofit Youth Guidance.
“The growth of BAM to serve over 7,000 young men in over 100 schools in Chicago could not have occurred without his leadership, and we are thrilled to have Emanuel champion BAM’s national expansion during this new chapter of his life,” said Youth Guidance CEO Michelle Adler Morrison.
Nearly eight years ago I participated in a BAM circle for the first time, and saw the power of a program that gives young men male role models and a new confidence in themselves. You can hear that new confidence in their voices, see it through their actions and feel it in their hearts.
Since that day at Harper High School I have met countless young men like Rajay at BAM circles throughout the city, and Rajay may have put it best when he said his BAM Counselor ‘always made us feel like we belonged, and we were important.’
Over my time in office I was proud to share the power of BAM with President Obama, Bill Gates, Theo Epstein and mayors across the country, and I am proud to continue the important work of helping give more young men confidence in themselves and the opportunity for a bright future,
— Rahm Emanuel.
“Emanuel brings the perspective of a former mayor to conversations with cities around the country looking for ways to increase school engagement for young men in under-resourced communities. We are delighted to have him launch the national BAM Advisory Council,” said John Raitt, Youth Guidance Board Chair and retired Partner, President & CEO of Harris Associates, LP.
“BAM is a national model that has proven to be transformational for young men by offering group counseling and mentorship. It creates a safe space for students to talk about their challenges in life and receive support in overcoming these challenges to realize their potential. We have been encouraged to see our BAM program in Boston deliver the same high-quality supports as BAM provides in Chicago and are excited to bring the program to more cities in the coming years,” said National BAM Director A.J. Watson.
BAM is a school-based, group counseling and mentoring program that draws from the fields of youth development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Rites of Passage to help young men learn and internalize six Core Values: Integrity, Accountability, Self-Determination, Positive Anger Expression, Respect for Womanhood, and Visionary Goal-Setting. For an overview of the BAM program click here.
The University of Chicago Urban Labs has published two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating BAM’s impact, and has found that BAM increased on-time high school graduation rates by 19% and decreased violent crime arrests by 45 – 50% for the students it serves. To read the studies, click here.