The Palisades/Brentwood Chapter of the National League of Young Men, Inc. (NLYM) recently participated in a philanthropy event for The Painted Turtle Project founded by Paul Newman.
The high-school aged young men spent hours sewing blankets for children and folded and wrapped tee shirts for the Painted Turtle.
“I love it because it is special time for my son and I to do philanthropy together!” said mom Carrie Rifkin, who son has been in the program since ninth grade. “There are requirements for service hours each year for the men and they can choose where they do their service hours, or the chapter provides many philanthropic opportunities.”
NLYM, founded in 2007 in Newport Beach by Diane Edmonston and Mary Pat Lucas specifically for high school males and their mothers, offers monthly meetings with varied speakers. It could be senior vice presidents of large corporations that discuss jobs and possible internships to doctors, discussing social media.
The women’s initial goal was to provide a unique program of leadership, service, culture and protocol opportunities for the young men in their community, while at the same time strengthening the mother-son relationship.
The nonprofit has rapidly spread, and the Palisades/Brentwood Chapter was founded in May 2016. The program is open to young men in grades 9-12 and their mothers, who reside in the cities of Pacific Palisades (zip code 90272), Brentwood (zip code 90049), Sunset area of Malibu (zip code 90265), Santa Monica (zip code 90402), Malibu (zip code 90265), Bel Air (zip code 90077), Westwood and Sawtelle (zip codes 90024 and 90025), and coastal cities (zip codes 90401, 90402, 90403, 90404, and 90405), or attend school in the above mentioned areas, or attend Palisades Charter or Brentwood High Schools.
Rifkin said the program has become so popular that “there is space in 2027, but the rest of the classes are full.”
The website (nationalleagueofyoungmen.org) also has information on how to join – each person must have a sponsor and cosponsor.
The nonprofits mission states that this a structured program for mothers and their sons to promote the development of young men into community leaders through leadership involvement, charitable and community service, cultural experiences, and protocol education.
Each young man is required to attend one cultural event and complete 10 philanthropic hours and 8 league hours for a total of 18 hours per year. The year is from May 1 through April 30 for grades 9-11 and May 1 through April 1 for Seniors.
Mothers will be expected to attend three out of five meetings per year with their goal being two-fold: 1) to support their sons and 2) to educate with guest speakers. Mothers will be required to serve either on one league committee or on the Chapter Board per year and will also hold one grade level position per son.