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Shaping elementary boys into successful men

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A community is coming together to teach the boys at Cambre-Fondel Elementary how to not only be a man but to be successful.

Boys to men; shaping third, fourth, and fifth graders’ future as they wore bow ties and were taught men look one another in the eyes.

When asked how he felt being all dressed up and looking successful at the program, third grader Leonard Fontenot said “comfortable.”

Fontenot is just one of the roughly 80 gentlemen attending the program learning about what it takes to be successful and it’s not just about looking the part.

“You got to be responsible, respectful, take care of your needs. Take care of your family,” fifth grader Ja’Mauric Wright said.

Local men who have set the mold of success like police officers, city and parish officials, lawyers, businessmen and educators are focusing on this generation hoping to propel these students into a future of success.

“They all tried to get us to know how to be that right person in life and never be that one that shows disrespect and un-leadership. And always be a leader and not a follower,” fifth grader Jaden Edwards said.

The men lead the program to teach the boys the importance of character, relationships, anger management and defining success. All the makings of a successful young man.

“We have to make them believe they truly are successful despite their circumstances, despite their environment,” Washington Marion High School Principal Ronnie Harvey Jr. said.

Most of these students will feed into Washington Marion High School when they get older, so Harvey was the keynote speaker for the program hoping to set a precedence.

“We have to start making this event the norm, normalizing what success really looks like,” Harvey said. “You have to tell kids ‘you are what success looks like, just keep working to better yourself and better your environment which ultimately, it’s going to better your community’,”

It was a two-day manhood program. The first day the boys were treated to haircuts by a local barber and day two they were treated to a lunch and got dressed up for presentations.

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