Plant Seeds of Greatness at The Young Gentlemen's Institute Conference

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Today's Daily Post is a guest post by James Ford, Garinger history teacher and the 2014 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Parenthood is one of the most rewarding and yet frightening prospects in life. Many adults remember planning as children to be parents, taking mental notes about what they would and would not do when the time came. For me, the process was pretty similar. I remember telling myself how I would be the best father ever. Now with two adolescent children of my own, and twins on the way, I think it's fair to say that it all remains to be seen. Parenting is not an exact science. There is no rule book or guide on how to manage the personalities of our children. It's easy to look at others and how they've chosen to proceed, but the fact is there is no secret recipe or sure fire way to guarantee how our children will turn out. The variables are innumerable. Whether you have a son or daughter, each child comes with their own particular set of risks. The most parents can do and do everything in the power to invest in their child and give them the necessary tools for success.

As a teacher, each day I see young people with all of the potential in the world that simply haven't been given the tools to succeed. I decided it was no longer good enough just to set my sights on supporting my children, but to do everything I could to ensure the every child had the prerequisite skills to succeed in the life. I started a nonprofit called the Be More Foundation created to empower that very population. What I quickly discovered was that there were other young men like myself who wanted to enact positive change with a particular affinity for young men. We put our heads together asked ourselves what if we created an all-male empowerment conference? What if we found a way to help support the efforts of so many parents to raise young men (ages 11-19) with social graces and life skills? What if we found a way to fill the gap between what may not be overlooked at home and not necessarily taught at school? From this essential question, the Young Gentlemen's Institute was born.

This Saturday, April 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sanctuary Charlotte Church, we've committed to planting the seeds of greatness in young men in the greater Charlotte area at an all-day conference that features four speakers focusing on the areas of etiquette, leadership, financial etiquette and networking. Registration for the event can be found at Author and founder of Millionaire Manners Sadiq Ali, founder of Hip Hop University Albert Carter, and financial guru Russell Stewart are presenting and offer crucial insights to help your young man get ahead.

Again, there is no way to guarantee success for our children. The most we can do is expose them to as many opportunity for growth possible and hope our contributions pay off.