Youth counselors John Earing, left, and Harvey Barr, right, started the Gentlemen’s Club for teens on Unit 4 at the Randolph Children’s Home, including, from left, John, Kyle, Jason and Parker.

Youth Counselors at Randolph Children's Home teach respect through new young men's club

By Emily Lindstrom, Communications Intern

As the four teenagers walked down the hall, each of them took turns opening and holding the door for everyone. The boys stood up straight with a proud stance, and when asked questions they all answered in a courteous, respectful tone and never talked out of turn.
      This is just one example of how the Young Men’s Club on Unit 4 at Randolph Children’s Home has taught these young men to present themselves in a polished manner.
      “We are a group of young men showing people we know how to handle ourselves,” said Marcus, a resident and member participating in the club. “We’re showing a good approach, leadership and that we are a good person inside.”
      John Earing and Harvey Barr, youth counselors, developed the Young Men’s Club, which aims to help the young men function better in their everyday lives.
      “The club identifies the strengths of each individual and where they are at in their personal life,” said Barr. “It helps with dignity and helps build character.”
      “It’s like a self-esteem builder,” Earing said. “Kids want to be respected, and if you do not live or act the part, then you will not be (respected).”
      Earing said he was very proud that the teens came up with a creed by themselves that is posted on the wall in Unit 4.
      “I am a gentleman,” it says. “I give myself respect no one can take. I am responsible for what’s within my grasp. I lead by a good example and my leadership is something I can be proud of. My intent will be evident in my actions. My conduct will be gentlemanlike for I am a gentleman.”    
      The group started out discussing great people such as civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who was jailed for 30 years and didn’t retaliate against his oppressors. The youth counselors asked the young men what they would do in similar situations that these great leaders had been through, and then discussed how these things would fit into their everyday lives.
      The lessons are prepared by Earing and Barr to focus on what is happening on the unit. Their resources include newspaper articles, life experiences and philosophies.
      In one lesson, they learned quotes from Ben Franklin. “What would you give your enemy?” Franklin asks and provides the response: “Forgiveness.” “What would you give your opponent?” he continues. “Tolerance. What would you give yourself? Respect.”
      Barr stated that the club means a lot to the staff.
      “It means that we have an opportunity to help young men use the tools to become great men someday and we want to give them those tools,” he said.
      “The experience has helped me out a lot and helped me realize what I was doing before I did something stupid,” Che, another resident, said of the club. “The club can help you express yourself in a manly manner, as well as help to feel better about yourself.”


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