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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Cape Assist Hosts State-funded ‘Coaching Boys Into Men’ Program

From left: Coach Cesar Santiago

By From Cape Assist

WILDWOOD – On Sept. 23 the first New Jersey adaptation of Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) was held by Cape Assist at the No Limits Boxing Academy. Cape Assist is one of two agencies in the state to be awarded funding to run the program, which helps prepare people in mentorship positions to teach emotional maturity, respect, integrity, and nonviolence to young men. 
CBIM is an evidence-based program designed to help those who are influential figures in young men’s lives make a positive impact on those youth. These figures expand outside of the teachers and coaches title- faith based leaders, police, youth group facilitators, volunteers, parents, all types of mentors, educators, etc. – anyone who works with or is around youth can benefit from CBIM’s training. These special relationships make them uniquely poised to positively influence how young men think and behave and treat those around them with respect. 
 “John Wooden once said a ‘good coach can change a game; a great coach can change a life.’, said Josh Mercado, No Limit Academy Head Coach and CBIM Advocate. “The Coaching Boys into Men program provides good coaches tools and resources to become great coaches to youth that they mentor.” 
The curriculum of CBIM is focused on evidence-based prevention techniques and training mentors to teach the young male youth they work with healthy relationship skills and that violence never equals strength. Training heavily features prevention of dating violence, and sexual assault, as well as decreases the stigma around Mental Health Challenges. Participants are given the roadmap, by discussion cards provided in the training, to have what are often difficult conversations on topics like Digital Disrespect, Healthy Relationships Dynamics, Consent, Integrity, and Mental Health. 
“Influential figures that are trained to use the CBIM curriculum can comfortably have difficult conversations around everyday issues youth here in Cape May County are currently facing,” said Nikki Nichols, Cape Assist Prevention Program Manager and Lead CBIM Advocate. “Whether the conversation focuses on something small like a post that was shared on social media or something more dynamic like what it really means to be a respectful member of society, the adults in the youths’ lives can talk about the topics, ultimately helping youth make better choices that will have a positive influence on those around them.” 
The program on Sept. 23 was one of several training sessions to be held by Cape Assist. Anyone who is an influential figure in a young man’s life is free to come and learn. Anonymous surveys will be provided to gather feedback on the course at the end. Those who wish to attend a workshop can email CBIM@capeassist.org

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