November 30, 2009

I Believe In YOU!

Blog subscriber Grant Williams suggests that the film Freedom Writers would be an inspirational film to share with young males. It’s about 14 and 15 year old kids living in tragically difficult circumstances, and one very dedicated teacher. Grant says,

When I think of the film “Freedom Writers” my mind immediately goes to the class room scene where Hillary Swank (playing the character of the real life teacher Erin Gruwell) placed a piece of tape on the floor and asked her students to cross that line if any answer to her questions were yes.

The power of that process in which young people shared their pain in their lives, realized they were not alone, that they were actually very much alike, something magical happened and a new beginning was born. From that one experiment, those kids began to feel a better self-image, the possibility of really believing in themselves, and they literally created a bond among them that would last for years to come. All this happened because these kids were gently nudged into getting real with each other.

This film tells the story of one teacher who knew that her students had an abundance of gifts, and if someone could help them see that reality, amazing things would follow. In the end, most of her students graduated High School and some went to college.

In this Man-Making work I have come across countless stories about how important it is for a lost boy to have someone really believe in him. At this link you'll find men's responses to the question, Who was an important male mentor for you (other than your father)? Over and over again in their answers, you will hear how just one, authentic, caring person can make a huge difference in a young male's life.

Who was it in your life that really believed in you?

Just below is a YouTube clip of  the real Erin Gruwell talking about what she had to do to get her students to speak their truth to each other and how they became Freedom Writers. If the clip doesn't show up click here.


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