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Two South Carolina Men Create ‘Boys With A Purpose’

Every now and then, someone crosses your sphere, and wakes you up to a better life. In this case, it was two someones: Kenneth Joyner and Raymond Nelson, a 4th grade teacher and a student support specialist at Memminger Elementary School in S. Carolina. After noticing that their boys were having behavioral and self-esteem issues, they created a Gentleman’s Club called ‘Boys With A Purpose’ to teach them etiquette. Every Wednesday, boys who are between the ages of 5-11, dress in their best clothes and learn things like how to open doors for a lady, the correct way to shake hands, and the virtues of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ The club’s motto is: Look good, feel good, do good.


On The Steve Harvey Show recently, the two men explained that it was because of their own involvement in similar programs growing up that they knew the impact that such a club could have on their boys.  Have young men dress up, and teach them early how to behave like gentleman. A simple concept, yet so far-reaching because now other schools want to implement the program.

And it seems to be working. One of the boys told Steve,


“Being in this Club has helped me learn how to be more like a gentleman not just by the way you dress, but by the way you act.”


It’s so inspiring to see these young’uns walking like tomorrow’s tech kings, multi-million dollar entrepreneurs, and outstanding fathers all because two guys decided to dedicate a few hours each week to a cause instead of just talking about the problem.


I’m guilty. It’s been years since I last volunteered, and I tell myself that it’s because I’m a mom now so I don’t have time. But is that true? The truth is life got complicated and just the thought of doing something for others started looking like a luxury. I forgot about the value of giving and how incredibly good it feels, for I never walked away from serving without knowing that I got back way more than I gave.


Thanks to these two extraordinary gentlemen for the powerful reminder!


Here’s a link if you’d like to donate to ‘Boys With A Purpose.’ 

  • Mia Monroe
    March 28, 2016

    I’m in California and a mother of two boys Khalil who will be 12 this Saturday and Kenyon who will be 10 in August, and I have to say I ALWAYS get compliments on how well behaved they are ( IN PUBLIC) lol…they always open doors for women especially or anyone for that matter if they are behind them. They are very good with they’re please and thank you’s. People say “oh your boys are so well mannered” and such and I of course say thank you! but I think to myself “well that’s the way I was raised so why would it be any different”?

    • Erickka Sy Savané
      March 29, 2016

      That’s great because the sad part is there are so many parents who aren’t teaching the basics. I tell my girls that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will carry you far.

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