Gentlemen's Day at Godby High

By: Lanetra Bennett
March 23, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The gymnasium at Godby High School was packed on Wednesday. But not for a game or pep rally.

It was for a lesson -- a life lesson.

The students were all young men.

"I feel like I'm somebody," said, 10th grader, Jalen McClees.

Tenth grade student, Jevon Price, added, "We can be something in life."

Wednesday was Gentlemen's Day. The purpose was to expose students to local professionals and skills needed as future men and leaders.

Price said, "I think it's a good opportunity for young men to better perfect themselves and find the right path to take in life."

More than a dozen men -- ranging from pastors and lawyers to businessmen and coaches -- spoke to students in breakout sessions and panel discussions.

They talked about financial awareness, job preparedness and work ethic.

Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons said, "Nothing will come to us if we don't work. If we are lazy while we're young, as you get older, you're not going to all of a sudden wake up and say I need to do some work. So, right now, what is your work ethic right now?"

On the topic of relationships, Corey Simon, a former FSU and NFL football player, told the students, "I think it's very important that you all start to learn the difference between what love is and what lust is."

Discussions also included conflict resolution and resume building.

"I just think that young men should men should hold themselves higher," said McClees.

Gentlemen's Day was more than just talk.

Barbers were on campus to provide free haircuts. It's just one of the ways to help students start putting their "dress for success" lesson into action.

Activities lasted throughout the whole school day. Administrators hope to make it an annual event.

Programs similar to this include the Raiders of Respect at Rickards High School. Male students are encouraged to wear a shirt and tie at least once a month. The program teaches young men life skills and how to act like gentlemen.

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