Two Groups of Gentlemen: Darlington High students begin mentoring relationship at Brunson-Dargan Elementary
DARLINGTON, S.C. – A gentleman is a gentleman, regardless of age. At least, that’s what Darlington High School’s Falcon Young Men of Distinction are working to instill in the Brunson-Dargan Elementary School Little Gents.
The former group recently kicked off a new initiative when they visited with the Little Gents for a day of mentoring and friendship.
Founded in 2014, the Falcon Young Men of Distinction works to improve behavior and academics amongst its members at Darlington High. The group’s ultimate goal is to foster well-rounded gentlemen who will become leaders in their community. Similarly, the Little Gents got its start the following year at Brunson-Dargan Elementary. School mentors have worked ever since to impart gentleman-like goals and behaviors for their young members.
The meeting between the Falcon Young Men of Distinction and the Little Gents marked the first of its kind, an exciting moment for principals of both schools.
“The Falcon Young Men of Distinction program exemplifies the importance of providing mentorship for the youth in Darlington County,” said Cortney Gehrke, principal at Darlington High. “These young men have developed their personal goals and leadership skills while discovering a love for community service. We are thankful to have such wonderful mentors helping shape the future leaders in Darlington County.”
“The most awesome part of this experience was seeing the eyes of my Little Gents sparkle when they met the Darlington High gentlemen,” said Ada Sindab, principal at Brunson-Dargan. “One of the Darlington High students was a former Brunson-Dargan student. My students saw them as an inspiration. In a few years, maybe the Little Gents can return to inspire the next generation."
During the visit, both groups gave an overview of their respective programs before grouping in pairs for a Q&A session. The members also recited their group creeds for each other and demonstrated tying a tie in front of guests. The students enjoyed refreshments before taking group photos. As a follow-up to the meeting, each mentoring group will be challenged with writing a reflection about their experience to share at a future collaboration.
Jason Brown, a former school career specialist, founded the Falcon Young Men of Distinction. The program is now under the direction of Justin Means, a former Darlington graduate and currently the band assistant. Frank O’Shea, a Spanish teacher and current school Teacher of the Year, works alongside Means. Other mentors include science teacher Philip Barr, School Resource Officer (SRO) Keith Cauthen, Campus Supervisor Darrell Bruce, and teacher assistant and coach William Dubose.
Former Brunson-Dargan Physical Education teacher Joseph Gainey and Officer Cauthen, who was the SRO at Brunson-Dargan at the time, founded Little Gents. Keegan Franklin, a teaching assistant, and SRO Gary August now guide the program.