Men’s Forum speakers inspire

To emphasize the importance of students developing good habits, Souderton held the Men’s Youth Forum.


Dennis Stanton

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Aiming to educate male students, the high school held its second Men’s Youth Forum on March 22.
Twelve speakers from different fields spoke about self improvement and challenged teenagers to reflect on themselves.
Former trial lawyer and sports agent Duncan Lloyd, who was one of the speakers at the event, feels that events such as the one held at the high school are vital opportunities for young men aiming to grow and develop their professional skills.
“Mentoring is incredibly valuable at all stages in life. Building strong, lasting relationships opens doors professionally, personally and creates strong bonds within a community,” Lloyd said.
Process improvement specialist Mark Wonderling, who also coaches basketball at Ursinus College, believes that instilling the right mindset in men is important to do as young as possible.
“These events help influence the future of our community by investing in the growth and development of young men. Having a ‘growth mindset’ in life can lead to so many opportunities,” Wonderling said, meaning to approach life with an attitude of learning and improving oneself from every experience.
Wonderling hopes that the young men that attended the event were able to take valuable lessons away from the event.
“I hope that the young men in attendance learned the value of serving others. Whether you are a leader, a classmate, teammate, sibling or son,” Wonderling said, “having a heart of service can make the world a better place.”
Lloyd is optimistic that the event helped students evaluate both themselves and their goals, and look ahead with clarity and purpose
“As high school students, I think it’s important to reflect on not only what you’re interested in, but also figuring out what you’re not interested in as you consider college, jobs, etc. as you forge your post-high school path,” Lloyd said. “I thought the program did a good job teeing that up for the students.”
Both Lloyd and Wonderling aimed to address issues they feel are prominent among young men in today’s culture.
Wonderling did this by challenging young men to have civil, empathetic discussion while still remaining confident in their own beliefs.
“I think every young man should feel empowered to have conviction in their beliefs,” Wonderling said, “while also putting ego aside and [having] the care and empathy to learn and listen from people who have differing viewpoints.”
Lloyd aimed to inspire those in attendance to take responsibility for themselves and their actions.
“One thing I run into these days is accountability with younger folks,” Lloyd said. “If there’s an issue that’s challenging and needs to be addressed, it’s important to step up, take stock of what’s going on, be accountable for it and find a solution.”
Athletic director Dennis Stanton, who largely masterminded the event, wanted the forum to motivate young men to become the best versions of themselves through lessons learned from the speakers.
“It’s about thinking differently about themselves,” Stanton said, “asking ‘How can I be the best version of myself? How can I make these small changes that are going to create better gains in my life?’”
Stanton would like to see the event take place on a more consistent basis with students taking a bigger role in the planning process. “The more student involvement we get, then the students have those conversations with other students instead of me,” Stanton said.