Scholars and Gentlemen is a school-based program with a curriculum specifically designed for 9th-12th grade males with a focus on culture, manhood, and entrepreneurship. Scholars and Gentlemen involves a weekly curriculum that engages 60 males at each high school with a goal of ensuring that every young man in the program graduates from high school and is adequately prepared to enter college or begin a career. The curriculum combines theoretical knowledge associated with the needs of our students, with pragmatic approaches to eradicating the disparities that continue to plague teenage boys of color. The result is a tailored curriculum that introduces relevant case studies that challenge the young men to develop the ideas and ideals needed to be successful in a collegiate and professional environment. The discussions and classroom exercises offer students an opportunity to solve problems that have real life application into the myriad of circumstances that may arise in their lives.
This cutting-edge program provides the training, encouragement, and enrichment needed for the young men to realize their gifts and full potential. At each grade level, students are presented with case studies that reveal varying scenarios based on their prior responses and decisions. During the first semester, students will focus on the Manhood and Culture units, followed by Entrepreneurship which encompasses the entire second semester. During the Manhood unit, students address issues that deal with sex, gangs, drugs, and integrity. The Culture unit deals specifically with identity. The cases within this unit introduce the students to native cultures throughout Africa, and Central and South America. Entrepreneurship is the final and most intense unit as it prepares students for life after high school graduation.
Throughout the second semester, the young men will develop a business plan based on the old adage of Dr. A.G. Gaston, “Find a need, and fill it.” Students are presented with cases that involve a problem in which they must discover the most appropriate business solution, based on in various professional industries. The junior and senior class students will also spend a day off-site shadowing an individual employed in the profession of the business plan they are developing. The young men are enamored with their experiences throughout each unit; as a result they are compelled to develop a greater sense of pride and affirmation in not only their history, but as importantly, their futures.
At the end of our four year program intervention, we expect the following student outcomes: a 15% increase in academic performance, a 50% reduction in yearly suspensions, and a 10% increase in attendance.