Girls With Confidence, the popular local organization dedicated to helping girls build self-esteem, leadership and positive relationships, is so excited to announce its counterpart, Boys With Confidence.
Nancy Lemon, founder and CEO, is overjoyed to start a wonderful program for young men: “The response has been phenomenal. I think we’re filling up more of the boys’ program than the girls’ at the moment. We need to teach young men to respect young women, respect each other and to have strong character. Working alongside with both boys and girls has always been the long-term goal.”
Lemon is excited to welcome Greg Rusch as the program director, whose extensive experience with youth comes from his years spent as a youth pastor at Grace Community Church and the Young Life program in the Lithia/Valrico area.
“I believe a lot of the sign-ups are people who know and trust him,” Lemon added.
She knows he has the energy and strength of character to be an excellent role model for youth.
With his input, Boys With Confidence developed a curriculum that covers many topics important to boys and young men. In elementary school, it covers being brave, trying new things, developing manners and social skills, forming positive friendships, managing emotions and stress as well as learning from mistakes without worrying about perfectionism. It builds on these topics in middle and high school courses and adds building confidence and self-love, venturing down the road of social media, developing overall leadership skills and understanding different personalities.
A typical seminar will meet weekly for four weeks.
Lemon explained, “When I decided to start Boys With Confidence, I asked, what is going to be different from the girls’ program? Boys don’t necessarily want to do crafts, but they enjoy using their hands in other ways. We’re going to follow the same format of doing a group discussion and doing games/activities, but with the boys, we’re going to do more experiments and build things. The topics mirror what the girls are going through.”
For example, for an upcoming elementary seminar, they will make fuzzy ball shooters with pom-poms, balloons and cups. It will also have the boys race to chisel LEGO figures from blocks of ice.
Lemon smiled as she explained how this ties into a lesson: “Sometimes, emotions with young men can do one of two things: they may keep them all pent up and not talk about it and we don’t know what’s going on, or they can be the opposite. They share all their emotions at a level of anger or frustration. These activities will help show how we can manage through that frustration whether it’s inside or outside. We want them to manage those emotions properly and talk about their feelings.”
Additionally, boys will have the opportunity to work with animals at the petting farm on-site. Boys With Confidence participants can help with the seven goats, 13 chickens and two bunnies. Working with the animals teaches responsibility and proper channeling of emotions.
Much like Girls With Confidence, those in Boys With Confidence will meet by age and grade level. The first series begins this September with Confident Boys designed for elementary students. Guys With Character for older students will come next. Middle school will include grades five through eight and begin in November or December, with the high school program rolling out in the next school year. It also plans to have Boys Night Out, where there will be one-time meetups with food stations, fun activities and games, and Boys Giving Back, where young men can come together to volunteer in the community.
Girls With Confidence still offers its proven programs for girls as well as Confident Moms and Ladies Night Out coming up on Thursday, October 21. At this event for moms, it will hold a fundraiser where all the money from the registrations go to its nonprofit, Confidence & Leadership Foundation, which allows Lemon to give children scholarships and work on special projects.
Currently, the boys will meet in the same building as Girls With Confidence, but Lemon is already thinking about adding a separate building for the young men. Post-pandemic, she hopes to again be able to offer both programs at local schools.
For more information, a full schedule of classes, registration and pricing, call 571-2002 or visit www.girlswithconfidence.com. The Girls With Confidence Center is located conveniently at 10540 Browning Rd. in Lithia.