By DJ Menifee, Knox College
NACAC Delegate Director
Transitioning into manhood is about coming of age–reaching that point in life where a man understands his own power to control his destiny. It’s more than simply having the traits or characteristics of masculinity, but more about having the drive, determination, and resilience to succeed. Motivate Me stands for empowering, inspiring, and motivating our young men to defy the odds, the statistics, and stereotypes so they can embrace their dreams. It is an opportunity for the young men to enter a supportive environment of speakers, volunteers, and college students trying to increase their confidence to persist in high school, through college, and in life. One does not expect them to come in as boys and leave the one-day conference as men. Rather, the hope is that they leave feeling the support of others around them and the confidence to put the knowledge gained into action. The expectation isn’t that this one-day conference will totally change their lives, but that it will serve as another monumental moment in their journey in discovering who they are, what they want in life, and how they intend to get there.
The symbol of acknowledging this empowerment, inspiration, and motivation to succeed is the blue tie. The tie stands for approaching life with a purpose, with ambition, and with grit. The tie represents men on a mission to succeed, exceeding all expectations, and leaving their mark on society. The tie will continue to serve as a reminder of their responsibility to overcome life’s challenges along with their Motivate Me brothers across the Chicago land area.
The tie ceremony will take place at the conclusion of Motivate Me, serving as our appreciation for their attendance as well as a reminder to the task at hand-ambitiously pursuing their own success.
Motivate Me 2014
This year’s Motivate Me-Young Men’s Conference will be hosted at Loyola University of Chicago’s Lakeshore campus on May 31, 2014. The program will include sessions on attitude, stereotypes, motivation, resilience, leadership, the importance of academics, the challenges of a first generation student, mentorship, work ethic, how underrepresented males are perceived in society and communication skills.
Jeris Pendleton of the Indianapolis Colts will deliver the keynote address, sharing his story about the roadblocks that impacted his path to the NFL. The program will also include a college panel from current students at Loyola University and a mini college fair.
The priority application deadline is April 4th. Males from underrepresented backgrounds in the spring term of freshman year of high school are encouraged to apply. Students that attended Motivate Me 2013 at Concordia University of Chicago are also encouraged to re-apply and be exposed to additional topics to add value to their futures.
High school counselors, community-based organizations, and fellow peers in the profession, encourage the young men in your reach to apply.