Summer Session Week One

Wednesday July 6, 2016

Reflection by Andy, Men of Code Program Associate

This week marks the beginning of the Men of Code program with the football team at Friendship Collegiate Academy. The first topic we covered is leadership and its impact on the young men’s lives. I initially expected the boys to be reserved and unwilling to participate; however, these beliefs quickly proved to be incorrect during our icebreaker activity. They were laughing and engaged as they shared information about themselves, clearly enjoying the beginning of the lesson.

Once the actual lesson on leadership began, the young men maintained the same level of engagement as they shared insight about what it means to be a leader on and off the field. Many of the young men shared that the most important leaders in their lives were mothers, grandmothers, or fathers. This was an inspirational thing for me to learn. I was also delighted to hear that the young men recognize that they are viewed differently than the non-athletes at their school. While this comes with great responsibility and may be difficult at times, many of them voiced viewing this as more of an opportunity than a burden. As athletes, these young men have a high level of social status amongst their peers. Hopefully, after the completion of this program, they will be able take advantage of this by demonstrating what it means to be leaders and allies in today’s society. I am very excited for the remainder of this program. I cannot wait to return to Friendship Academy next week where we will be discussing healthy masculinity.