Future Men is a small, mentor-focused, Christian boarding school program for troubled boys, located 9 miles from Branson, Missouri. The campus is in a picturesque and rustic forest location, surrounded by beautiful lakes and rivers.
The goal at Future Men is to train young men to put off childish behaviors and obsessions with the trivial distractions of this life (godless music, foolish friends, slothfulness, anger, disrespect, offensive language/habits, sloppy clothing, lack of self-control), and to subsequently embrace the responsibilities and freedoms that come with true manhood (respect for authority, strong work ethic, obedience, and the fruits of the Spirit).
This environment is perfect for teenagers to work through difficult times and change their problematic behaviors. Young men in this program are trained and mentored to replace old behaviors and ways of thinking with a new, principled way of life. They will embrace the responsibilities and freedoms that come with maturity, including respect for authority and a strong work ethic.
Education is also important for troubled teens. The school program at Future Men provides a highly structured and tutorial setting for young men to work on their education. Students are provided with an individualized plan that works with the supportive atmosphere of the program to ensure success, not just academically, but in life moving forward. Work throughout the curriculum is, of course, founded on God’s Word and the school is accredited with the North Central Association Commission on Schools.
It is natural for parents of troubled boys to worry about their future. Therefore, students receive vocational training as well at Future Men. They are taught to closely follow instructions, develop an eye for detail, and show initiative. These are the qualities that will make them employable young men in their future lives, whatever career path that involves. Equally important is the self-esteem generated by this training. As boys learn to be physically productive and consistently complete tasks, they build a real sense of self-esteem. This concept of genuinely and actively contributing to society will allow these boys to get back on track and bring hope to themselves and their families.
The role of staff is to be faithful stewards of students in working with them in three main areas:
- 1. Accomplishing academic goals set by the staff and students’ parents.
- 2. Working on behavioral and spiritual issues which directly affect every area of their lives.
- 3. Providing trade training in order to equip the students with realistic skills in order to be productive men in the workplace.
It is the goal for students at Future Men to learn to follow instructions, develop an eye for detail, and show initiative in their work. These qualities will help them later in life to acquire and keep a job. Being physically productive and having the ability to complete a task gives a young man genuine self-esteem, as opposed to the hollow false praise that society has been programmed to give. In many cases, actively contributing to society will help these young men “turn the corner” and once again have hope. All of the work completed by a student, whether through apprenticeship or service project, is incorporated into an elective credit. The students come to understand that the work ethic they develop here contributes to who they are and what they are becoming.
Twice a week, each student works hand-in-hand with an area business as an apprentice, learning a trade skill. The tradesmen who partner with Future Men at the various apprenticeships share the same goals and desires. Students are offered a wide range of apprenticeships. Some current options include: electrical work, plumbing, real estate sales, firefighting, animal health technician, glass installation, auto painting, landscaping, airport security and service, computer programming, welding, and construction.
Students who do not yet have an apprenticeship serve in community service projects. These students work with staff directors in preparation for their upcoming apprenticeships. The basic habits of working at a steady pace, not asking to take breaks, learning to “see” work that needs to be done, following instructions, and using/putting away the proper tools, are taught and developed in this stage. All of these traits are part of a good work ethic which is critical for young men in today’s society.