MWSU Athletes Mentoring Middle School Boys in New Program
Learning to make responsible decisions is an important part of growing into a healthy adult. For a group of 70 middle school boys, learning to make good choices is a skill they can learn through the YWCA program called DECISIONS. Mentoring middle school boys is an eight-week curriculum where a team of athletes from Missouri Western State University (MWSU) help ensures that decision-making skills are a priority.
The eight-week program pairs seventh-grade boys with athletes from the men’s baseball, cross country and track teams at MWSU. The mentors involved with the program exhibit the responsibility and discipline that their sports require, and they take time to teach the boys about making smart decisions through the curriculum and by demonstrating these characteristics through role modeling.
The life-skills DECISIONS group is formed through a collaboration between the four public middle schools in St. Joseph and the MWSU Men’s Athletics Program. Mentoring middle school boys focuses on topics like bullying, girls and peer pressure and helps them navigate the social difficulties of adolescence. They also cover a wide range of other topics, including social media, respect, addictions, family situations and future careers.
Adolescence is a critical developmental stage for teaching the importance of treating one another respectfully, increasing self-esteem and letting kids know that the community around them cares for them.
The DECISIONS program is one-half of the outreach to middle school students in the St. Joseph community. Middle school girls are mentored through the CHOICES program by MWSU female athletes to help them recognize the steps involved with good decision-making.
Each week, the students enrolled in the DECISIONS program work with the same mentor, allowing them to build a trusted relationship with an adult that cares about them and is invested in their well-being. At the end of the program, students visit the MWSU campus for a tour and a pizza party.
If you’d like to know more about supporting the mentoring of middle school boys through the DECISIONS program, or if you’d like information about the CHOICES program for middle school girls, please contact the YWCA of St. Joseph office. We look forward to hearing from you.