By Lindsey Turnbull
A group of 15 and 16-year-old boys took part in an induction ceremony this week at John Gray High School, introducing them to the Boys 2 Men, turning boys into gentlemen programme which, it is anticipated, will help the boys choose positive paths for themselves in the future.
Created in 2009 by Christopher Murray, a school counsellor at John Gray High School, the programme has helped steer numerous young men who were at-risk to better lives, helping them to focus more on their studies, choose positive role models and develop into well-adjusted young men.
Mr Murray said this latest induction hosted 75 boys from John Gray High School, 10 from Hope Academy donning the blue ties with the Boy 2 Men labels. Clifton Hunter induction service will be in the coming weeks with an anticipated number of 60 plus boys. The Layman Scott High on the Brac programme began last year with 28 boys.
“We were delighted to welcome the Premier Mr Wayne Panton and his wife Mrs Jane Panton as well as representatives from the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services to the event,” he said, underscoring the esteem in which the programme is held. Crucially, representatives from the business community were also in attendance, as they will be important mentors for the boys over the year-long programme.
The keynote speaker was Mr Bruce Gordon, a young Caymanian who has been incredibly successful in the music business and who now has 100 million followers. Bruce spoke to the boys about the importance of following their dreams and the importance of persevering through adversity. The boys were transfixed during his presentation.
John Gray High School Principal Clark outlined to the boys what would be expected from them in the programme, and how they were expected to raise their standards. In addition, the boys were informed how they would be helped to develop skills such as decision-making through interactions with positive individuals who cared enough to volunteer with the programme. It is anticipated that the young men will grow in confidence and ability over the year long programme.
Boys 2 Men is run by a skeleton staff of Mr Murray, Mr Seaford Russell and Mr Simon Miller and they are in need of funding to help realise additional goals and for more volunteers to come on board.
“We are presently funded by well-wishers, and a few cooperate businesses and we would love to unfold the programme far more so we could reach out to younger boys,” he advised. “We currently take boys onto the programme aged 15 and 16, but would love to be able to take on boys from younger ages.”
Mr Murray believed that accessing the boys at a younger age meant they could help them to make better life choices earlier on, negating the need for intervention at an older age when sometimes changing behaviour is not so easy.
“With our stretched resources, expanding the programme to a younger age is most challenging,” he said.
Mr Murray is therefore appealing to the community to get in touch if they can spare any resources, be it time or money, to help make a difference in the lives of Cayman’s youths through this programme.
If you think you can help, please contact Christopher Murray at 345-329-0021 or by email CCMurray777@gmail.com .