Young Men's Nation's mission is to provide the most impactful, scalable and continuous experiences for young men so that they can achieve lasting peace of mind and professional fulfillment on their journeys to solving the most pressing issues of our time.
This will be a community space for reflection, growth and change that promotes an alternative narrative, gives wise perspective, and provides a safe place for young men to ask troubling questions.
We strive to provide an authentic voice for young men who aspire to have the courage, patience and curiosity necessary to contribute to the flourishing of sanity on the planet.
In all that we do, from designing our services to crafting the community experience to public relations with those who may disagree with us, we insist that the following values guide our work:
Compassion - We start from a place of compassion for the tragedy and complexity of the human condition and the inherent flaws every person will always possess.
Truth - We seek to find the objective truth about how the human condition interacts with the peculiarities of modern society to disincentivize, limit or block young men’s attempts to achieve personal excellence and realize lasting harmony between the sexes.
Nuance - We research and think carefully to ensure we're coming from a place of independent thought stripped as much as possible of confirmation and reference bias, political maneuvering, and psychological projection. We aspire to craft products and services that transcend dualistic and in- vs. out-group worldviews.
Courage - We will unflinchingly yet compassionately address the questions, frustrations and confusion of young men that parents, schools, media organizations, religious institutions and online communities are currently unable to with the proper amount of respect and dignity for people with differing experiences than their own.
Honesty - We respond to the issues young men face with the full breadth and depth of our current thinking, admitting when we don’t know the answers, or when we are uncomfortable with our current thinking.
Humility - We accept that we will occasionally miss the mark with our responses to young men, but we agree that action is better than rumination, and arriving at lasting solutions can only come from persistence beyond failure and a free flow of diverse opinions and ideas based on careful thinking and rigorous research.
We are experienced educators, technology and neuroscience evangelists, and budding moral philosophers on a mission to change the trajectories of young men on a massive scale. We care deeply for kids and believe they deserve both the truth and the best adults can give.
BEN KEELER | Founder & Chief Strategist
Ben has spent over 15 years in school-based roles as an administrator, teacher, coach and mentor. He spent eight years teaching and coaching in Washington, DC and the United Arab Emirates before earning his Masters in Education at Harvard in a self-designed program studying the social, emotional and moral development of young men.
He then spent five years at an education consulting startup developing smartphone-based tools to collect data on attitudes, behavior and character over time. He co-developed a 25-hour male leadership curriculum with YMN’s Matthew Branch, assisted for four years with a Harvard research project investigating ethical behavior in college students’ romantic relationships, and has worked since 2010 to build the mentoring program at a Boston-area charter school. He currently serves as the Assistant Principal for the Middle School at a suburban charter school in central Massachusetts.
MATTHEW BRANCH | CEO & Chief Academic Officer
Matthew Branch is an avid outdoorsman, an Eagle Scout, and a former wild land firefighter. He has been working with youth in and outside of the classroom for over a decade as a coach, mentor, tutor, and teacher. Matt earned a Bachelor’s degree in literature and a Master’s degree in education from the University of California at Santa Cruz. More recently, he spent two years living and studying in Boston, Massachusetts where he earned a Master’s degree in writing and publishing from Emerson College and met YMN’s co-founder Ben Keeler. Together they developed a 25-hour male leadership curriculum and founded Young Men’s Nation.
Matt teaches 8th grade Language Arts at a charter school in East San Jose, California.
WILL VITALE | Chief of Product & Research
Will’s background is in the intersection between education and psychology, and he is always looking for new opportunities to help kids and teenagers discover their strengths and passions. Will first met Ben and Matt while working as an instructor in Boston after completing a M.Ed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When he's not at work, Will can be found climbing rocks, writing songs, or worrying about the 49er's quarterback situation.