Kwame Scruggs had a big idea back in 2004. He spent afternoons with 28 sixth grade boys from urban schools around Akron, Ohio telling myths and pounding on African drums. His goal was to keep these boys in school through 12th grade.
The result: 100% graduated from high school this past June! And this month 93% started college!
Kwame formed Alchemy Inc, a non-profit, so he could have a wider reach. The first group’s outstanding success caps Alchemy’s many initiatives – including a new 6th grade cohort each year, summer mentoring camps, in-school mentoring groups and teaching teachers and professionals how to work with boys using this unique and time-tested story-telling method.
Stories!??? Yes, through stories, myths and fairy tales we learn life lessons — how the heroes sacrifice, preserver, listen, use their resources, make good choices and learn something new everyday. Most key characters get into trouble and then get out of it, which is especially important for teenage males, especially those at-risk.
Alchemy’s storytelling theme shows young people ‘‘how they can improve, overcome obstacles and become a hero in their own story. The message constantly delivered is trouble is going to happen, but if you stay true to your own values, you will get through it,” Kwame says.
Kwame’s experience with at-risk boys is relevant to all of us. As a coach, I help my clients recognize that they are living a story and how they can change that story in a way that is empowering.
I invite you will check out Alchemy, Inc at http://www.alchemyinc.net