LAFAYETTE — The 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette partnered with local groups to provide a 6-month mentorship workshop for youth in Judge Breaux's Specialty Court and plan to award participants for their completion in the pilot program Saturday.
The 100 partnered with Team Adventure Games (Earl Leblanc) and 15th JDC Judge Michelle Breaux’s Juvenile Specialty Court to provide "Project Choices," a piloting program utilizing adventure-based challenge courses and group mentoring to support the process of a healthy life change.
On Saturday, December 18, the 6-month program will award participants for their completion in the pilot program.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette say tremendous improvements was noted throughout the program in the kids’ decision-making process. "From improvement in grades to improvement in behavior at home and in the classroom. Some of the participants highlighted how the challenges has given them a different outlook on life. We’re very proud to graduate this cohort and look forward to the next phase," they say.
The group met once a month on Saturdays for roughly four hours while Team Adventure Games President Earl LeBlanc, volunteer mentors and court staff lead the teens through team building and self-discovery exercises embedded in hands-on learning games, like walking as a team on shared skis and scaling a 10-foot wall, LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc has led his program for 25 years and said participants walk away with a sense of self-empowerment, accountability and a greater can-do spirit, according to The Advocate.
“The whole process is giving them an experience where they can see what success feels like and sounds like and looks like, and then saying let’s go recreate that in the real world. Here are the tools, then we guide them to the bridge of their own real world,” LeBlanc said.
“There’s no failure in these exercises. We always bring them to a solution. That’s the message we want them to walk away with: we only have one life, but we can make many attempts at getting it right….It’s OK to make a mistake, but learn from it and move on to something that’s more successful,” he said.
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