By Brittany Henderson Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Teaching boys to be men is the ultimate goal for Joe Horan and his team and the Building Men program.
Now in its fifth year, The Building Men summer program has expanded to three Syracuse city schools. According to, Program Director, Joe Horan, the program started as an after school program in 2006 and has grown since then.
Unlike the after school program, the summer program activities last for a full day. The program teaches the boys greatness, integrity, respect, desire, and to never quit. The children start each day with physical activity and move their way to a classroom where they are introduced to the theme of the day. After the introduction, the boys focus on academic and team building projects.
Program Director, Joe Horan, says the planned visit to Onondaga Community College is a new thing for the program this year. The boys are set to visit the college Tuesday. Horan says he hopes the boys get more than a new experience out of the visit.
“Getting them to see themselves in a college campus. See themselves among college students and experiencing academics in the same seats as someone that was in college, hopefully, will inspire them to realize it is possible,” said Horan.
Besides the college visit, Horan and his team scheduled field trips once a week where the boys do various projects that help them build their team working skills. The boys have guest speakers that come twice a week to speak about the “theme of the day”.
The number of boys involved in the program has grown from about 80 to roughly 140.