The IRONMEN Foundation (aka IRONMEN) is a nonprofit organization providing nationwide mentoring programs for at-risk middle and high school youth males and adult men. IRONMEN forms partnerships with local school districts, churches, businesses, parents, lawmakers, and the court system. IRONMEN’s goal is to foster a commitment to our mentees that will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, self-accountability, college and career readiness, and reassert a sense of hope in the future. Through personal relationships, a sense of individual responsibility can be reestablished that will give youth the commitment to follow through on a path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Many of the problems that plague our local communities (crime, failing schools, declining property values) have one thing in common; the lack of a strong male presence and fatherless households are usually connected to the problems. IRONMEN is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young males that are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the juvenile court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the young person to make positive changes in his life. For the adult male the goal is quite the same; however IRONMEN will empower men to take on their natural role as leaders, to provide for their family, and to give his time and efforts to improve the world around him.
The IRONMEN Academy is the cornerstone of our mentoring initiative. The Academy takes place weekly for most chapters. The classroom-type setting is led by IRONMEN volunteers in order teach the youth vital skills such as financial literacy, effective communication, and social awareness. The Academy will eventually provide the youth opportunities to use the skills they learn in real-life settings. With support from the local communities and businesses, the youth will have a chance to engage with local leaders and businesspersons.
For the adult male, IRONMEN is a place of empowerment, leadership and redemption. From the parolees to the superstar athlete who has made a detrimental mistake, IRONMEN will help men accept responsibility for their actions and make the necessary corrections to live a more productive life. The goal for the adult males in the program is to sharpen their leadership skills to make them better fathers, husbands and role models.
Over time, IRONMEN will create an environment that will be an valuable resource to young people, aspiring mentors and the community at large.