Boys to Men at Success Academy
Success Academy Middle & Secondary is an alternative programme that utilises a therapeutic approach to create pathways to success for middle and secondary male students enrolled in the Bermuda Public Education system.
Success Academy opened its doors in September 2016 to serve as a conduit for change as evidenced by customising learning experiences to equip students with the requisite skills to make a valuable contribution to our global community On March 20th 2019, Success Academy held its annual Boys to Men night under the leadership of Lead Educational Therapist, Mr. Anthony Bascome. The young men from Success Academy were encouraged to invite their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, and male friends to this event. The overarching objective of this event was to provide a safe space for our students, and for male members from various sectors of our community to engage in a positive bonding experience.
The event commenced promptly at 5:30pm with opening remarks from the Program Director, Dr. John Duncan, who applauded the boys and men from our community for their attendance. 90% of the student body attended this event, and approximately 30 male attendees inclusive of staff members, were present. After a congenial welcome, two films were viewed; “Love Conquers All” by Dr. Eric Thomas, and another which depicted the fragmented relationship between a father and his son that was strained as a result of his father's incarceration. After viewing these films, Mr. Chae Powell, Paraeducator from Success Academy, facilitated a lively discussion which resulted in the attendees sharing personal narratives about how they achieved success despite facing unbeatable odds.
Some of the notable attendees from the community who attended our Boys to Men night were Mr. Michael Scott, MP, Mr. Ralph Bean Jr, Technical Assistant in the underwriting department at Arch Reinsurance, Mr. Chris Crumpler, Executive Director, at Impact Mentoring Academy, and Mr. Declan Harris, Behavior Education Officer from the Ministry of Education. These gentlemen challenged our boys to transcend through life in a time sensitive manner as time is fleeting, and the responsibility of manhood would soon be upon each of them. Mr. Ralph Bean asked one of the students in attendance, “How old are you?” and upon learning that the student was 15, he expeditiously pointed out that in 5 years this student would be 20 years old. This salient point resonated throughout the audience as each participant set in silence and reflected on the concept of “time waiting for no man.”
Mr. Chris Crumpler shared his early experiences of humble beginnings with the audience. He emphasised that he made a choice not to get “caught up” with his peers who were engaging in negative and antisocial behaviours. While he admitted that peer pressure was severe for him as a teenager, he stressed that he wanted to achieve greatness more than anything in the world. With support from his family, his passion for playing basketball, and earning a Bachelor's degree from Flagler College in Florida, his dreams were realised.
After an intense sharing session, the boys and gentlemen from the community enjoyed a scrumptious meal, and engaged in further conversation about how to navigate through life amid peer pressure and adverse situations. The fellowship among former and current students, community officials, teachers, relatives, and friends fostered a affable atmosphere, and many new connections were established.
Success Academy is committed to providing social experiences that will enhance the lives of their students in the years ahead. The Leadership Team, and staff from Success Academy believe that their 2019 “Boys to Men's Night” facilitated an experience that will be fondly remembered by their boys as they secure their future and transition towards manhood.
• Press release from the Success Academy