BOY: I've got the juice.
GROUP OF BOYS: I've got the juice.
BOY: And any other feedback will be appreciated and acted on.
GROUP OF BOYS: And any other feedback will be appreciated and acted on.
BOY: Self-evaluation and correcting my undeveloped strengths must be done daily.
GROUP OF BOYS: Self-evaluation and correcting my undeveloped strengths must be done daily.
BOY: Small steps lead to big changes.
GROUP OF BOYS: Small steps lead to big changes.
BOY: I know and believe that anything is possible...
MITCH MATTHEWS: A smile, a necktie, a high five. You wouldn't think such simple things could make a difference. But in Cape Girardeau, Missouri the founders of the Honorable Young Men Club are using these tools to change lives.
On screen: Cantrell Andrews, Co-Founder, Honorable Young Men Club
CANTRELL ANDREWS: Even though they're young kids, these kids are not crazy.
MITCH MATTHEWS: Right.
CANTRELL ANDREWS: They hear everything and they see everything. They just don't know how to express it.
MITCH MATTHEWS: Right.
CANTRELL ANDREWS: They don't know how to say, "My parents were fighting last night and I was up all night listening to 'em."
On screen: Kweku Arkorful, Co-Founder, Honorable Young Men Club
KWEKU ARKORFUL: Either athletes or drug dealers, that's all these kids see. And if we can try to change that mindset, where it's like, "No, you can be a business owner."
CANTRELL ANDREWS: They don't have to struggle paycheck to paycheck. They don't have to go out and sell drugs. And that's when I push on them why education is so important. You don't have to go to college, but you need a plan.
On screen: Wyky Jean, Co-Founder, Honorable Young Men Club
WYKY JEAN: Alright, so today we're talking about accountability. Right... accountability. Somebody tell me what accountability is. Boom, "Looking for help." You don't know what you're doing, I need some help. Okay, Cantrell, I'm struggling with this tie man, can you help me out?
CANTRELL ANDREWS: I gots you, boss.
WYKY JEAN: Boom, he steps in, he helps me out, right? So I'm not going in no place lookin' like a fool. 'Cause my tie used to be all here like this. My tie was hurtin'. You feelin' what I'm sayin'? So accountability.
MITCH MATTHEWS: This dream got started when some friends, who met while playing football at Southeast Missouri State, saw a need and decided to give back.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: It's really cool because we just sit down and we just say, "Okay what can we each him this week?" And then things just come up.
MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: Just so quick.
MITCH MATTHEWS: 'Cause you guys aren't trained teachers.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: No.
MITCH MATTHEWS: You're just passionate about what you're doing. Not at all.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: Just passionate about kids.
MITCH MATTHEWS: Yeah, that's amazing.
WYKY JEAN: We teach life skills, soft skills, we've come up with our own core values. Something that we feel like they can take now and for the rest of their life. So, we're trying to teach these young men how to become men. And how to become leaders in their society, at home, wherever they go.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: We high five kids. We hug 'em. And it started off at first where they were kinda like, a little bit like, "Man who is this guy?" Comin' up here trying to hug me. And then we say, "Hey man, I love you." And it took 'em a little while to start saying it back. But now they're texting saying, "Man, I love you bro." It first starts with just loving on these kids and then we meet their needs where we can.
MITCH MATTHEWS: They went into this just wanting to give back. But as the program grew, it turned into full time jobs for these mentors.
WYKY JEAN: It don't feel like a job, it don't. It's what we love to do. It's like what Cantrell said, "This is what we do." And if we got change in our pocket, it's theirs. If we have a contact in our phones, it's theirs. So…and it's beautiful 'cause it's bringing together not just the kids, but it's the families, it's community, it's school. It's way bigger then, oh it's just a job. No man, this is a lifestyle and it's real. We love it.
KWEKU ARKORFUL: It just goes to show that, a little bit of time and just some love could go a long way. And now you can't even tell if that's the same student.
MITCH MATTHEWS: Sometimes when you give back, it can lead to big things. You might uncover a job you love. You might encourage someone to change the world for the better. Or maybe, you might just put a smile on someone's face.
(hip hop music)
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On screen: BIG DREAM MOVEMENT