Top Blokes Foundation launches mentoring program for boys in primary school

Top Blokes founder Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

Top Blokes founder Melissa Abu-Gazaleh

The Top Blokes Foundation is launching a primary school mentoring program for boys aged between 10 and 13.

The move follows a need for a social education program being identified by primary school principals amid growing concerns young boy’s behaviours.

The Stepping Up Mentoring Program developed by Top Blokes focuses on improving well-being. And understanding the complex issues that may be affecting boys.

It will help equip them to handle issues like bullying, mental health and digital activity.

The Stepping Up program aims to address many of the emerging social issues facing boys, as well as help them develop key social and decision-making skills.

There are 11 workshops available and Top Blokes will work with the school to decide the topics that will be delivered over the eight week program.

The topics include healthy relationships, mental health, pree pressure and risk taking, humanising teachers, anger, screen time, healthy masculinity, drugs and alcohol, discrimination, transition to school and leadership and team work.

Top Blokes was founded by Melissa Abu-Gazaleh who was named NSW Young Australian of the Year in 2016 for her work with young men after seeing a need in the community and deciding to do something about it.

A 19 year-old youth worker and university student in the mid 2000’s she was concerned about how young males were being perceived.

So she established a foundation to foster inclusion, build resilience and ensure the well-being of young men.

The former Kanahooka High student's mission was to make a difference in the lives of young men in a age group with the highest rate of unemployment.

The facts:

  • 75 per cent of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25
  • 10 per cent increase in short suspensions for NSW primary students between 2014 and 2016
  • 20 per cent of boys aged 12 to 13 engage in physical fighting in public
  • 14 per cent of connected households with children aged 5 to 14 stated a child had been exposed to inappropriate material online
  • 13 is the average age a young male will watch pornography

Read more: