MOST and WISE Clubs start Spring 2014 strong

Our Washington, DC, Men of Strength (MOST) and Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment (WISE) Clubs had great semesters in the fall of 2013 and are starting 2014 strong. As part of a project in partnership with the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services, many of our middle school MOST and WISE Clubs have focused on serving chronically truant students. The unique model of MOST and WISE Club allow our specially trained mentors to find out and address the students' underlying causes for their tardiness and/or absenteeism.

Along with their weekly meetings, MOST and WISE Club members have been hard at work on awareness-raising efforts in their schools and service projects in their communities focused on healthy masculinity and female empowerment. WISE Club has been emphasizing a healthy self-image along with planning for future careers and healthy lifestyles. MOST Club members have been breaking down unhealthy, violent masculinity and have been working on bystander intervention skills in situations involving violence and sexism.

After finishing up a city-wide canned food drive for the holidays, MOST and WISE Clubs are focusing on raising awareness through film by showing films on LGBTQ discrimination and violence, unhealthy masculinity, and stories of young people succeeding. We will also be starting WISE and MOST Clubs at four more sites in Washington, DC in partnership with the Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative. What perhaps best sums up the extraordinary progress we've made so far in the school year was said by a middle school WISE Club member: "WISE Club gives me hope."