Once a week, you’ll find a group of sharp-dressed young men on the Walzem Elementary School campus. Third-graders in the Young Men’s Group don their dress shirts and ties every Wednesday while learning a little more about themselves, each other, and their place in the world.
The Young Men’s Group is a passion project for Kris Gaytan, Walzem’s Communities in Schools (CIS) Site Coordinator. His goal in starting the group was to help every student find healthy ways to express themselves while learning to value their own self-worth.
“My mission and passion are helping all students achieve the same level of success that I did,” said Gaytan. “The Young Men’s group aims to promote the boys’ natural strengths through focused activities like group challenges, games, skits, roleplays and art.”
CIS provides additional resources and support for NEISD students, and Site Coordinators like Gaytan bring in new, engaging opportunities for students to grow into themselves with confidence. The Young Men’s Group accomplishes all that and more by focusing on each student’s emotional, social and cultural literacy.
Benefits of Young Men's Group
The payoff comes in many forms, and its skills are invaluable. The boys learn safe ways to express themselves, which can lead to improved behavior and better performances in the classroom.
The Young Men’s Group also spends time looking to the future. In its first year, they have met virtually with positive male role models like San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus and Michael Vela, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Central and South Texas Region.