5 young men graduate from Guys & Ties program aimed at self-development, confidence

May 3, 2024 | 12:12 am

Updated May 2, 2024 | 8:36 pm

Photo by Josh Kelly

Five Burns Middle School students on Thursday graduated from the Guys and Ties program, an initiative of the Chamber Young Professionals to help young men with self-development and confidence. This year marked the first set of graduates to receive custom jackets and more.

CYP Chair Jake Boswell said the program focused on 10-12 Burns students throughout the school year, but only five completed the requirements to graduate from the program. The initiative involves a group of CYP members visiting the school to teach students different skills.

Burns staff help pick the skills and topics to cover things the students don’t learn during a school day. They range from professional skills such as dressing properly, job interview practices, and budgeting to practical skills like jumping a car battery and changing a flat tire.

“Each year we work with the staff at the school and take input from business leaders around Owensboro with what they feel young men need to take time to learn,” Boswell said. “Our goal is to make sure these students see these things for the first time with us, so maybe later in life when the environment isn’t as controlled they have reference to keep building these skills.”

The graduation was held Thursday morning during Rooster Booster. The students received a custom-tailored suit jacket from The Earle and a high-quality tie, along with personalized wallets from River Valley Behavioral Health.

Boswell said it was important to relieve the students’ pressure when it came to getting their measurements.

“I think every young man, and old man for that matter, should know what some would call ‘their measurements,'” Boswell said. “It hopefully makes the young men feel more knowledgeable and less intimidated with the world of formal dress from here on out.”

Since Guys and Ties began in 2018, Boswell said it has continued to grow in student attendance. However, he said the program’s goal is not dependent on the amount of students but on the outcome.

“The program is truly quality over quantity,” he said. “If we can help one young man see his potential years ahead of when he may have seen it otherwise, he’s in such a better position to begin his academic career in high school.”

May 3, 2024 | 12:12 am

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