Young Man with a Plan Curriculum Overview

I. Building Brotherhood

During this phase students across Coalition’s schools are getting to know each other, building brotherhood and trust over weekly dinners. Together they define what it means to be a man.

Workshops and Discussion Topics

Journal Prompts: What does brotherhood mean to you? - What is loyalty? - Have you ever let a friend down? - Are you good at keeping a confidence? - Have you ever made a sacrifice for someone else? - How would your best friend describe you to a girl?

Team definition: What is a man? What is a boy? What is a coward?
Other Activities: BEAST Brotherhood Weekend in New Hampshire; Community Service

II. Gaining Knowledge of Self, Others and the World

The ultimate goal of this stage is to help youth develop the ability to analyze complex issues and make informed and life-affirming decisions. These critical thinking skills are essential for students to fully understand themselves and the world. Discussion, guest speakers, literature, film, and journal writing during weekly sessions help youth increase their self-awareness and sharpen their creative problem-solving skills.

Workshops and Discussion Topics

  • “I Am” Spoken Word
  • Communications and Code Switching
  • How Words Hurt
  • Black Flight
  • Fixed and Growth Mindsets
  • Why Vote?!
  • Reading Baldwin and Torres
  • Social Activism, Black Lives Matter
  • School to Prison Pipeline
  • 13th Documentary
  • Kalief Browder
  • Central Park 5
  • First Impressions Count
  • “My Nephew Emmett” a film about Emmett Till
  • Advocating for Yourself
  • Healthy Eating and Fitness
  • Effective Relationships: Family
  • Effective Relationships: Teachers
  • Effective and Healthy Relationships: Dating
  • Time Management
  • What’s the Message? (in popular songs)
  • Financial Literacy: Make, save, and invest
  • Financial literacy: All about credit and debt
  • Financial Literacy: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Reflect/discuss/write on Quotes

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. MLK
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. Malcolm X
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Langston Hughes
Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread. Richard Wright
Stay far from timid, only make moves when ya heart’s in it, and live the phrase Sky’s the Limit. biggie smalls

Journal Prompts: Do you act differently online versus in person? - Describe a hero. - What is
courage? - How have you changed since last year? - How do you react to criticism? - What is the
difference between being assertive and being aggressive? - Write about trying something new. -
What is tenacity? - What is accountability? - What is your superpower? Write about what makes you
so good at that one thing. - What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do? - What is the greatest
piece of art (a painting, song, dance) you’ve ever seen or experienced? What made it so powerful? -
What does it mean to show unconditional love? Write about a time when you experienced this. - Do
teenagers today have it easier or harder than previous generations of teenagers did? Why? - Write
about a time when you found yourself in an unexpected situation that you were totally unprepared
for. What did you do? - Write about a time when you did something and felt guilty afterward. What
did you do? - Re-write the ending of a historical event. For example, what if Columbus had never
sailed the ocean or what if he had landed where he intended? - What do you think makes a happy
family? - Do you think that there is or ever was life on another planet? - Is it important that the
President not lie? Why or why not?

Other activities: Community Service; Men of Color Career Night; summer jobs placement; Excel Camp;
Summer Writing Clinic

III. Creating a Success Plan

The goal of this stage is to help students develop a Success Plan that is both aspirational and
realistic, and aligned with each young man’s interests, strengths and goals.

Workshops and Discussion Topics

  • Nine Lives Exercise
  • Life Map Exercise
  • Transitions Exercise
  • Success Plan Overview
  • Post-high school options
  • Resumes, interviews, professional communications
  • Financial Literacy: College costs, loans, financial aid

Journal Prompts: What is success? - What is a good life? - Describe the life you’d like to have in 5
years - What do you hope to do the same as your parents? What do you want to do differently? -
What qualities will you need to build to achieve success? What qualities or habits will you need to
leave behind?
Other activities: Community Service; Men of Color Career Night; college visits; alumni visits from
colleges; Boston Private Industry Council workshops

IV. A Personal Oath

The final phase begins with a process of self-reflection, community and global analysis, and
culminates in the creation of a Personal Oath. This is a personal statement describing individual
beliefs, goals, and the commitments he will strive to live by throughout life.