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Young Men’s Group, Men’s Resource Center of Western Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Contact Name: Steven Botkin
Phone Number: (413) 253-9887
E-mail: [email protected]
Key Words: (1) Male only; (2) ages 12 to 18; (3) racially diverse; (4) middle and high school setting; (5) ongoing discussion groups
Population served
Program participants are male middle and high school students. These are ongoing groups open to any male who would like to participate. One group specifically targets men of color.
Medium used to convey message
The Young Men’s group offers ongoing discussion groups that provide a forum for males to discuss a variety of issues, such as male violence, healthy relationships, masculinity, and leadership as men. The center also offers a batterer intervention program called “Men Overcoming Violence,” weekly support groups, and a magazine entitled Voice Male.
Staff do not use a specific curriculum because they do not want participants to consider the program to be a repeat of school. They leave discussion open to the participants’ interest.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The program has a mission to support men, challenge men’s views on violence, and promote men’s leadership in overcoming oppression.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
The program uses an educational model but is an open forum for discussion among participants.
Level of evaluation
The program has a very loose evaluation that obtains written and verbal feedback. Staff would like to do more in terms of evaluation, but they have found it difficult to define their objectives, especially with the lack of a structured curriculum.
The center has been in existence for 20 years. Its youth focus started in 1990. The current program has undergone many changes, however, evolving from a classroom presentation approach to an ongoing, discussion group format.
Staff capacity
The Young Men’s program is facilitated by staff. Facilitators have had training from the Department of Public Health Adolescent Perpetration Training Model and the Best Training Model of Youth Development.
The program does not receive RPE funding. Due to Department of Health budget cuts, staff have looked for more grants and private funding streams.