Young Men of Direction initiates new class

Published 9:05 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The auditorium at King’s Fork Middle School was buzzing Wednesday morning.

More than 60 young men were making their way from the school’s halls to the auditorium’s seat, anxiously awaiting the presentation before them.

The Young Men of Direction club was holding its initiation, bringing in about 50 new members to the club’s roster.

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“This is your club,” club sponsor Jamie Curran told the boys as they settled into their seats. “I’m so proud of you.”

The club is a proactive measure for middle-school boys to get involved in their schools and in their communities while staying away from negative influences such as gangs.

“I like the club because I learn new things, like how to be respectful to adults and it’s a great learning experience,” said Brandon Bailey, the club’s sergeant-at-arms. “It’d be great for kids to learn new things so they won’t get with gangs in the streets. We do positive things.”

Some of those positive things include field trips to a local university to learn more about what life is like as a college student, community service projects and study groups.

“This is a brotherhood,” Curran said. “We get them away from negative things and focus on the right things.”

In order to get in the club, students must fill out an application that includes an essay on why they want to join, and they must get parental consent. Then, once initiated, students must maintain a C average or better and have no discipline or attendance problems.

Members are also expected to enroll in honors classes, go to college and set high goals for their lives, according to Curran.

Following Wednesday’s initiation, the club at King’s Fork has more than 75 members, and Curran said the need for community partnerships is greater than ever.

“We need people to help us get involved,” she said.

Specifically, Curran said, the club is looking for people to connect the club to more community service projects as well as people willing to come in as guest speakers during the club’s meetings.

For more information about the program or how to get involved, call 923-5246.