"Guys in Ties" club offers mentorship, guidance to male students

MERIDIAN, ID - A teacher in the West Ada School District is going above and beyond to help young boys in his school community become young gentlemen.

A new mentorship program called “Guys in Ties” is a boys club of sorts, teaching students life lessons beyond what’s learned in the classroom.

The transition from childhood into young adulthood isn’t always easy.

But for Adam Burwell, a teacher at Meridian’s Barbara Morgan STEM Academy, having a mentor makes all the difference. 

“[It’s] a group for young boys to talk about leadership skills and grow in their influence over each other and become good role models for each other,” Burwell said.

The club, which began this school year, has about 40 members.

“Some of the guys want to sign up to develop some of those leadership skills, become better leaders in their classrooms, in their school, in their homes,” said Principal Ryan Wilhite. “…and some of them just want to make some friends.”

The club meets twice a month — once as small groups and once all together. Each month follows a certain theme, including gratitude, self-confidence, sportsmanship and competition.

The only rule — wear a tie.

“Some of them have pre-tied ties, which is great,” Burwell said. “Some of them, mom and dad help them out, and some of them, we help out.”

The educators say it’s an opportunity to connect with students and teach them life lessons that go beyond the classroom, preparing them for life ahead.

“i hope they develop relationships with each other and the staff members here,” Burwell said. “Just a positive relationship that makes them excited to be at school and excited to be role models for their peers.” 

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