My Journey Helping Boys Find Courage, Resilience, and Heart. What/Who is The 1 For All Project?
I'm Jennifer Gellin Brown, Founder. I am a mom, I believe in boys, in their energy, their kindness, their courage and their tenacity.
Why did I start The 1 For All Project? I have a daughter and a son. Watching them move through their worlds it became increasingly obvious how differently society viewed them. Teachers, coaches, extended family and friends spoke to them differently, had different expectations on what they should do, like and become. Even the language and words spoken to them changed. I wanted both of my children to have the same opportunities to experience the same level of intimacy, expression of emotions and self-awareness but most of society didn't allow for that. Not only was I frustrated by the potential damage a patriarchal mindset can do to my daughter but also to my son. I looked deep into myself and made changes to how I considered them and what they can contribute; if my daughter is told she can be strong, competent and a fighter, as well as, emotional, compassionate and empathetic, why couldn't my son be that too.
Thats when The 1 For All Project was born. Out of the need for all people to be self-aware, find their inner power, and aspire to make the world a better place in their own unique way.
I believe that an exchange of ideas, willingness for understanding, and the power of authenticity can create growth within one person and that growth can be paid forward to the many.
Statistics show boys are faced with the same challenges and difficulties as girls. They struggle with friendships, family relationships, sexuality, self worth, body image, risky behaviors, and academic expectations. However, they and their support systems are very different.
Boys are less likely to seek help, less likely to talk about emotions and feelings, and are trying to find their place in the constantly changing world where social cues and development can be very different from what they see and read. As they try to figure out what it means to be a man most often the community is missing the mark on how to guide them.
My professional background started with a BA in Psychology, then a MA in School Counseling, which led me to work as a High School Guidance Counselor. I have used this training to facilitate our workshops. The boys that have participated have shown me over and over that we all need and want the same things. To feel heard and seen. To have someone talk to them about their interests and what is in their hearts without judgement and opinions. Our work is motivated by the idea that everyone is better off if boys are better understood and become more emotionally literate.
Here are some helpful articles that explore these topics, and where I find inspiration and motivation.
And some great podcasts...