Building Men: Esquire Magazine seeks mentors for America’s boys

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We need more male mentors. That’s true at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities, where boys make up the majority of our waiting list, and wait 30 percent longer to be matched than girls do. And it’s true across the country. Nationwide, mentoring organizations struggle to recruit male volunteers, and boys face the consequences.

This urgent need for male mentors is the motivation behind the Esquire Mentoring Project, a new initiative from Esquire Magazine which aims to recruit 100,000 men to volunteer as mentors over the next five years. As David Granger, the magazine’s Editor in Chief sees it, the challenge is to make mentoring look more accessible, more fun, more cool.

Mentor is such a bad word,” Granger wrote in the September issue of Esquire. “Use it and you can see people tuning out, nodding along as their minds wander… Yet mentoring – one-on-one life coaching – is among the few strategies that have proven to have a positive impact on the lives of boys.”

That’s where the website WeBuildMen.org comes in. Launched this month, We Build Men provides “the know-how, tools and community to help build tomorrow’s men, today.” The online toolkit includes nine simple, easy-to-follow tips for mentoring, such as provide structure, be active, and offer advice – but only when your mentee asks for it.

But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of mentoring, it’s all about spending quality time together. So what do you do with your Little Brother? We Build Men has also put together a few tutorials for things your match can try, such as “How to Build a Go Kart like a Champ.” Bonding with your mentee is the perfect excuse to try your hand at something new and fun.

In addition to the toolkit, Esquire has also compiled 50 essays from 50 extraordinary men – including Robert Redford, David Patraeus, Questlove and Steve Carrol – answering the question “Who made you the man you are today?” If you’ve ever been in doubt about the impact one person can have, these stories will change your mind. Click here to read them.

Ready to ‘man-up’ and become a mentor? Chances are, there’s a boy in the Twin Cities waiting to build a go-cart with you. Fill out a short online application and we’ll contact you about taking the next step.

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