Teaching inner city youth the art of being gentlemen through the use of emotional, conversational, and storytelling intelligence.
" Thank you for being an amazing example of hope and perseverance for our youth. I'm so inspired by the work you're doing with the Gentlemen's Retreat and humbled by your kind invitation to share my story. We all need a leader with a bold vision and the courage to help us chase our dreams. Thank you for being this person for the young men from the Bronx. I look forward to seeing the great things you and these gentlemen achieve."
Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP
The Gentleman's beginnings
This is where Our Story begins
Young men in the inner city have to balance the identity between the neighborhood culture of the “G” and their identity with being a Gentleman and getting out into the real world. Unfortunately, until these Gentlemen receive an acceptance to college or a scholarship, they’re stuck in the inner city. Growing up in this environment, struggle and opportunity go hand in hand—they’ve learned a lot about balancing survival and academics. A lot of what they’ve learned can be utilized in the real world: it just has to be refined. They can only get that refinement when they step out of the inner city and see things from a different perspective. This is where the Gentlemen’s Retreat comes in.
The mission of The Gentlemen’s Retreat is to introduce young men from the inner city to guided cognitive dissonance and choice architecture. By putting the Gentlemen in environments and situations that will cause them to grow through the Power of the First Experience, they develop the character traits that they feel resemble a Gentleman.
The Gentlemen's Retreat offers inner city youth the opportunity to still be “G,” but "G" stands for Gentleman. A Gentleman is somebody who can step outside of the inner city into the real world and not only survive, but also thrive. Through the experiences they receive through this program, they are able to formulate their own meaning of what being a Gentleman is rather than being told what this should be. They are given the tools, exchanges and structures in order to decide what works for them as individuals.
“When I was 12 years old, I got into an argument playing basketball that led to a fight. The guy I was arguing with was twice as big and four years older than I was. I knew I had little chance of winning that fight, but I put my hands up. He punched me, and I fell to the ground. He stopped and picked me up and slapped me on my head. It wasn't much of a fight, but I had to fight. That is how we resolved issues, and not fighting wasn't an option if you wanted to survive in the hood.
When I made it out of Hell's Kitchen, I discovered that's not how you resolve issues in a world of work and business. You need to keep fighting, but you do it by becoming emotionally and conversationally intelligent. Knowing how to do that is so critical and crucial to your success. What you are doing with the Gentlemen's Retreat is going to be so impactful and I only wish I could be there to support the work you do!"
Education Evangelist, Google
“I grew up in an inner city neighborhood in Philadelphia and did graduate work in these neighborhoods also. Bringing Conversational Intelligence into your Gentlemen’s Retreat is a brilliant way of enabling talented youth to create a whole new identity about what it means to contribute and make a positive difference in the world. Your approach is transformative and I know it will be life changing! I am thrilled you thought of exposing the inner city youth to Conversational Intelligence! Your program is brilliant!"
Judith E. Glaser
Author of 7 books including best seller ‘Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results; CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The CreatingWE Institute.
"The Gentlemen's Retreat is a tremendous opportunity to envision the steps along your future path. I am confident that you will take full advantage of this valuable experience and learn a great deal from the leaders, peers, and events that characterize the Gentlemen’s Retreat as a conduit for self-exploration and development. Intelligence in every form – academic, communicative, and otherwise – is crucial to both building a positive framework for one’s life and connecting with others in a meaningful way. I encourage you to use your time as Gentlemen’s Retreat participants to further propel yourselves towards the achievement of your aspirations for postsecondary education and beyond."
Member of Congress
"Even more powerful than the spoken word is your nonverbal body language! How you present yourself with your nonverbal behavior is how you will be viewed by the world. The way you walk, dress, your tone of voice and posture speaks volumes of who you are and who you want to be!!! Successful people are always aware of their body language and the non-verbal messages that they are sending out."
Founder, The Center of Nonverbal Communication; designed and deployed the DHS/TSA Behavior and Assessor Program, behavior analyst for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, current instructor of suspicious and anomalous behavior detection and domain awareness.