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Young men told to do the little things

University of Georgia and NFL football player, author and musician Rennie Curran told 21 young men assembled last Friday in the Media Center at Newton College and Career Academy (NCCA), “My challenge to you is to do everything you can to get to my age and be able to say ‘I did everything right.’ Being cool, being disrespectful does not pay the bills.”

That was only a small bit of the advice given by Curran and Bob Mackey, who is the founder, president, and executive director of M-Powering Choices, Inc. Mackey started his organization 10 years ago because he wanted to give back. He wanted to help young men succeed. He wanted to help them think about their future.

The messages delivered by Mackey and Curran during the hour-long program were simple, yet powerful. The program title itself, “The Power of the Knot. The way you are dressed determines how you are addressed” included one of the main messages.
“You are judged from the minute you walk through the door,” Curran said.

Part of the program focused on teaching the young men how to properly tie a necktie, shake hands, and introduce themselves.

But other messages were delivered as well. Mackey talked about the importance of associating with people who offer a positive influence.
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future,” he said. “If you hang out with people who have no future, you will have no future.”

While telling his own life story, Mackey discussed the importance of what he called the “three C’s: choices; confidence; and character.” He also talked about the significance of good grades, saying “Your grade scale equals your pay scale.”

This is the second year that Mackey and his organization have presented to young men at the NCCA. Jill McGiboney, entrepreneur business incubator and work based learning support, organized the visit and asked NCCA teachers to help her recruit young men to participate. She told the students that the faculty and staff are “here for you.”