The Island School’s Young Men’s Leadership Program (YMLP) is an extracurricular mentorship program for eighth-grade boys from South Eleuthera designed to enrich their lives. There is an epidemic most cultures are facing with regards to young men. All over the world, they are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to get in trouble with the law. There are many causes for the plague facing our young men, thus the YMLP was developed to support young men in their different stages of youth development. While the program will tackle the problem from multiple angles, revolving around our core values: academic vitality, fearless leadership, personal resolve and global awareness. These values will be built upon throughout the program and during meeting times.
Currently, there are 9 boys from the 8th grade of Preston H. Albury in the program. The members meet twice a week on Tuesday afternoons and on Saturdays with program leader Stan Burnside. During the Tuesday meetings the focus is on supporting academics, with the boys helping each other with homework under Stan’s mentorship.
Saturday meetings are held on The Island School campus with a wide variety of topics covered. From working on conflict resolution to helping researchers perform surgery on crustaceans, the opportunities for the boys to learn in an experiential setting are limitless.
Last Saturday the Honorable Hank Johnson, Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera came to campus to join in YMLP activities.
Hon. Hank Johnson has been committed to the future and development of his community for years. To this end, he has taken a special interest in this program since its inception in December of 2017. During his visit, the Eleuthera native shared his life story with the boys. This tale of perseverance and eventual success really resonated with the boys. One of the boys remarking, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, you can be anything in life if you work hard.” Following his inspiring speech M.P. Johnson pledged his support of the YMLP program saying, “You have my full support because a program like this will change their lives. It is long overdue!”
Showing that he is a man of action, following his powerful speech, M.P. Johnson then accompanied the boys on a bike ride, challenging the boys to a race upon his next visit.