The world today is complex. Technology, social media, current events, and dynamic shifts in culture have exposed modern youth to complicated concepts and situations at a much younger age. Children are navigating the ideas of adulthood in nearly every interaction. Limited access to male role models. As a result of divorce, death, or disengaged dads, 1 in 3 boys lives in a home without a strong male role model. These boys are twice as likely to receive D’s and F’s in school, and twice as likely to become drop-outs.* Sadly, more than 75% of all crime in the U.S. is committed by men who were fatherless as children*. Conflicting messages define masculinity. Boys are challenged with conflicting expectations of “what it means to be a man.” In movies and tv, they see “macho” male idols while, at the same time, hear echos from society that “men are bad.” Amidst these convoluted expectations and assumptions, boys will turn to their friends, celebrities, video games, and the internet to learn how to “be a man.” Patchwork Manhood Because boys with absent fathers are forced to source male role models from different places, their concept of manhood is also pieced together. Many of these boys grow to be insecure, and often incomplete men. Today, we have a systemic problem of prolonging immaturity into adulthood. What’s more, this “patchwork manhood” is being passed generation to generation.
That’s where The Quest Project comes in.A CRITICAL MOMENT: Between the ages of 12-15, boys undergo a pivotal phase of character development.* During these years, they shore up the identities of the men they’ll become. The Quest Project serves as a catalyst around this critical time, stepping in as an example of the male role-model that boys today are lacking. This guidance ensures that each boy receives the tools he needs today to become a whole, healthy man later on. HEALING THE WOUND: When boys come to us, they may be upset, distant, angry, apathetic, or showing a number of symptoms across the behavioral spectrum. One thing unites all of our adolescent boys: They all carry the burdens of a past wound. With this realization, we help boys come to terms with their pain; to understand that it doesn’t define them. This cathartic process allows boys to acknowledge their pain and grow past it. CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN: Only once a boy understands his wounds, can he begin to heal them. Our therapy program asks boys to envision their future selves. They do this by understanding the obstacles that stand in their path today and visualizing the route they’ll need to bypass and overcome their unique hurdles.. This moment clarifies the man each boy wants to become– giving him a path forward for the rest of his life. MODERN DAY RITE OF PASSAGE: Graduation from The Quest Project celebrates a Rite of Passage. Each participant is recognized before family and peers for his hard work. They come together as boys, and leave as men. This means, when things get tough, or the world asks them to step up, these young men can no longer defer to their symptomatic responses from boyhood. We ask them to act as men. Responsible. Brave. Empathetic. Intentional. With lifelong tools at their arsenal, they can move forward, serving as example for the next generation.
*The Quest Project serves boys on either side of this age-range, with proven success in aiding boys as young as 10 years to those in the final moments of adolescence, at 18 years-old.