The young gentlemen wearing their Gentlemen’s Club ties while proud mentors stand behind them.
Recently some San Marcos CISD middle school boys became young gentlemen as they joined the Gentlemen’s Club in an induction ceremony in November.
Educator Stephen G. Peters began the first Gentleman’s Club (GC) in 1996 with 30 middle school aged boys. The program, expanding over the years, now includes 1,500 active members nationwide. The primary objective of GC is to transform young males into gentlemen. The program inspires the members to be polite and engenders self esteem.
Hernandez Elementary School, a GC Model Program Honoree, piloted the first GC in Texas last year with such success that a second club was started this year at Mendez Elementary School.
Club founder Peters was in San Marcos in November for the 2009 induction ceremonies for both the Mendez and Hernandez Clubs.
“We have found that 90 percent of a school’s problems are caused by 10 percent of its population,” Peters said. “We have targeted this 10 percent and are now making this sub-group a part of the overall ‘management’ team of each of their school populations,”
Begun in inner city and urban areas, the clubs have now expanded to rural areas. It is used as a successful intervention tool in many school districts throughout the country. The program is designed to provide opportunities for young males to develop self esteem.
The club has a 40-unit curriculum that is introduced into the learning day. The curriculum provides weekly lessons to guide students through the thorny subjects of responsibility, etiquette, dignity and patience.
According to the Peters Group brochure, “Students meet weekly and are appropriately dressed in white shirts, ties, pants and belts. Weekly progress reports are completed by teachers and incorporated into a point system covering appropriate attire, academic performance, attendance and behavior.”
Due to funding generously given Texas Pioneer Foundation President Fred Markham, Frost Bank and Ronnie Mendez, 30 young men from Mendez and 18 from Hernandez were inducted into the San Marcos CISD GC. Each young person was paired with a male role-model “mentor” from the community.
The Mendez Elementary inductees included Andrew Rodriguez, Anthony Garcia, Rey Maldonado, Tomas Garcia, Zachary Pensiero, Jason Perez, Marcus Hernandez, Victor Don Juan, Ryan Guerrero, Angel Rodriguez, Noah Olvera, Richard Cordero, Julian Arredondo, Robert Marchan, Armando Mendoza, Matthew Blair, Jacob Pettigrew, Oscar Montemayor, Adrian Guerrero, Miguel Cardenas, John Maldonado, Jose Robles, Elijah Mercado, Stephen Martinez, Abraham Miranda, Adrian Jimenez, Elijah Vargas, Jose G. Hernandez, Josue Alamilla, and Joe Mendoza.
The Mendez facilitators are Deryk Lindsey and Joe Merchant.
The Hernandez Elementary inductees were Julian Perez, Jeremiah Legagneur, Ernesto Ocasio, Carolos Hernandez, Caleb Valles, Leeland Batts, Aaron Travis, Aaron Coy, Robbie Reyes, Jamontrell Hont, Michael DeLeon, Alejandro Cruz, Asaiah Pina, John Jalufka, Luther Davis, Richard Natal, Jake Clancy, and Craig Chambers
The Hernandez facilitators are Rob Rodriguez, Peter Doyle and Carl Contreras.
Members of the GC wear uniform of recognition with white shirts and tie embossed witht the GC emblem. Most of the members wear blue ties, but the more advanced students and officers wear gold ties that designate their status.
Part of the induction service involves the mentor tying the tie for a student protege. The mentors serve as inspiring role models for new club members.
The mentor list for the GC is filled with successful luminaries from the San Marcos community and runs the gamut from local business leaders to former city council members to elected officials.
After the ceremony one parent remarked that it was wonderful “watching my son’s face glow with pride” for the first time in his life.
The Peters Group says that this is the key to “these young males making their way out of the principal’s office and onto the honor rolls.”
The tie ceremony.
Mentor Randolph Goodman of Gary Job Corps and mentee Tomas Garcia.
Oscar Montemayor of Mendez Elementary School cannot disguise his happy pride.
The Mendez Gentleman’s Club.
Hernandez Gentlemen’s Club, the first in the state of Texas and a Model Program Honoree.