Our program is designed for boys ages 11-15 (grades 6-8) and requires one adult facilitator from your community for every 15 boys who participate.
Boys work together with their adult facilitator to create a safe environment in which they explore issues around manhood, identity, character, and success while challenging each other to be their best.
Sessions are designed to last 60 to 90 minutes and align with the Collaborative for Social & Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) core SEL Competencies.
Resources and support are provided for interspersing sessions with community service and fundraising projects.
Sessions follow a predictable routine:
- Structured check-in
- Video intro
- Guided discussion
- Weekly Challenge
- Shout-outs and pledges of support.
Adult facilitators receive in-person training and ongoing, direct access to YMN experts through a private online discussion forum.
- Managing Emotions - Why do I get angry sometimes?
- Clarifying Identity - How do I know what's right?
- Finding Purpose - What's my reaction to issues/problems in the world?
We always come back to the Five Essential Strengths but we'll focus on the following in more detail:
- Compassion For Others
- Courage Toward Peers
The basic list of things to agree upon before the program begins. Each individual school group can add to this list as they see fit.
- Brotherhood, not competition. - This isn't about being better than others or falling into a hierarchy. No need to feel ashamed or make another member feel ashamed. It's the quickest way to create anger in others and yourself.
- Assume best intentions. - Every interaction should come from a place of remembering our shared human experience.
- Encourage excellence. - Compassionately push your fellow members to open up, face their problems, and have the courage to grow.
- Speak your anger; don’t act on it. - If you're angry, it's probably because underneath you're sad, scared or ashamed. Talk about that rather than lashing out.
- Explain your sadness. - Although it's hard, talking this out will lead to growth and a shared bond between those who hear you.
- What Does Success Look Like To You?
- Boys in Crisis? Stats, Trends, and (Supposedly) Dire Predictions
- The Big Four: School, Male Friends, Girls, Parents
- Compassion: Why It's Essential & How To Cultivate It
- Compassion’s Connection to Fulfillment
- Freedom In a World That Doesn’t Trust You (Yet)
- Parents: You Can't Choose Them, So Now What
- School: What To Do When You May Not Like It
- How Do I Know What's Right? Intro to Morality With Smith, Kant, & Rawls
- Self-Control & Managing Anger
- Male Friendship: Precious, Essential, but Problematic
- Romantic Relationships: Managing Emotions When "Nice Guys Finish Last"
- Habits, Hobbies, & Managing Time
- Uncovering & Cultivating True Strengths
- Purpose & The Meaningful Life
We plan to expand the curriculum in the coming years to include programs for high schoolers and college students. See below our long-term "Progression of Growth."
Pricing Options 2019-2020
- 15 session curricular materials online & PDF format.
- Year-long scope & sequence with tips for hosting community service projects, field lessons, & fundraising events.
- Comprehensive, online training for your adult facilitators.
- Private online discussion forum for facilitators to get help from YMN team and one another.
- T-Shirt or coffee mug for facilitator
- Five Essential Strengths pins for all club members
- Discussion questions for all YMN Magazine articles to extend learning.
All Standard features plus:
- Data collection and analysis reports to measure social & emotional growth.
- Monthly live video chats with YMN founders for students.
- 10% discount on YMN shop.
- T-shirts for all students and adults.
- First access to professional development opportunities with YMN Team.
Sample Lesson Materials
What young men are saying about the program...
“I have experienced changes in the perspective of what success means- in the past, I thought it was about dominating over other people, but never even considered how I would be respected or liked. Now, I know that sometimes, my goal in life (to obtain success) is to obtain as much freedom and mastery as possible.”
— 8th Grader | Cambridge, MA, USA
“I never thought about having a definite plan in my life; now, I have certain ideas about what to do in my life to help me achieve my purpose and establish a sense of direction in life.”
— 7th Grader | Newton, MA, USA
“Knowing that there are certain things that I just can’t control, I’ve become more confident in my decision making ability, I am able to focus on what I personally find important by weeding out all the external pressures and expectations.”
— College Freshman | Pittsburgh, PA, USA