Our goal

The goal of Project Men is to disconnect the young men from the negative images that men hold in our society and connect them to role models who provide positive examples of manhood.

Leslie Marcelin

CEO & Founder

With over 18 years of experience in non-profit and community-based organizations, as well as higher education institutions, Les leverages his educational and work background to mentor young men.  Les takes personal responsibility for uplifting the lives of young men in his community, just as others did for him while growing up. 

"Seeing the young boys in this program succeed in school and eventually become mentors themselves brings me immense pride in the work of Project Men" 

Summer cont...

Project Men mentoring group creates an atmosphere where community leaders and college students can connect and guide high school and middle school students in becoming successful male figures in their community. Mentors are paired with mentees to form long-standing relationships, where mentees will gain a support system throughout the program and as they matriculate into a university. The mentorship program helps young men learn valuable life enhancing lessons that will ignite the expectation of one day becoming leaders in their own community. 
In the South Florida community, Project Men have found there to be a missing component to young men striving to become leaders. As Project Men’s main working community, we have found that young men in underdevelopment communities sometimes lack strong male figures in their lives, who are willing to help guide them in becoming strong professionals and leaders later in life. Many households that have financial difficulties, have a low-moderate income home, or do not have a two-parent support system, are known to have difficulty in providing the basics to their young men. Additionally, according to the U.S. census bureau, 24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, young men need strong father figures in their lives to teach them and guide them to understand what it means to becoming a male leader. With the support of local businesses and community development partnerships, Project Men will have the opportunity to engage with middle school and high school students in an 8-week summer program. The Project Men Youth Empowerment Summer Program will prepare students with college readiness workshops, empower young men to build a business plan, and bridge the gap to prepare them for their future careers. 

A large number of young men who participate in the Project Men mentoring group are coming from low income homes or attend schools in neighborhoods that are unable to provide such types of resources. The goal of Project Men’s summer program, is to prepare middle school and high school students for college, lead them on a positive career path, and provide them with the basic skills needed to be successful in their school, college and adulthood. The Youth Empowerment Summer Program is designed to target young men in the Miami-Dade and Broward communities. While the program focuses on young men, Project Men does not discriminate against race, disability or socio-economic standing. All middle school and high school boys are eligible to sign up for the summer workshops. The program will entail a diverse set of workshops that will coincides with everyday life lessons, building cognitive learning skills, create a business plan, identify potential careers, and prepare and encourage all students to matriculate into a college or university. 

Professional male leaders in the community will serve as directors, mentors, volunteers and teachers to those enrolled in the program. For students in the program who may have a learning disability, Project Men has certified teachers who are experienced in working with students who require additional assistance. Project Men’s Youth Empowerment Summer Program will run for 8 weeks, 5 days a week, with each day hosting a different topic, workshops, and break-out group sessions. Services are offered to students at no cost, as students enter the program they are provided with an assessment which helps the mentor gauge the child’s learning abilities, college readiness, thoughts and views about their potential career and what they hope to gain by the end of the program. Throughout the program, and at the end of the program, similar assessments and surveys will be conducted to monitor the successfulness of the program. Nutritional snacks and lunch will be provided to the students every day, as well as nutritional cooking classes will be incorporated into the program. Project Men will host a closing ceremony for the students to invite their family to witness the outcomes of their assigned projects and business plans. Mentors will work with surrounding middle school and high school counselors, as well as activity/athletic directors, to recruit program participants and give the parents and students an overview of the program. Parents who believe their son could benefit from the program are encouraged to enroll their children before the end of the school year. 

We anticipate having at least 30 students, 10 middle school and 20 high school boys, participate in the summer program. Although the summer program only encompasses 8-weeks of workshops, we prepare all students to continue to participate in the year-round mentoring program. All students are offered the opportunity to continue to engage in workshops, leadership forums, and after school activities. For high school students who are starting college, they are offered an opportunity to return to Project Men as a mentor and leader for future programs.