Last year in 2022, two local New Jersey non-profits, Cape Assist and Gateway Community Action Partnership, were awarded funding from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ (NJDCF) Division on Women to bring Coaching Boys Into Men to the state in an unprecedented way. When asked about the motivation for choosing to invest in CBIM through these two agencies, Anna Martinez, Director of the Division on Women, said “through community conversations, we saw that boys wanted to play an active role in ending violence against girls and women, but didn’t have the tools they needed. In partnership with Futures, we decided to bring the CBIM curriculum to our state in a unique way, to connect boys with the natural mentors or “coaches” in their lives. This adaptation allows for more inclusion and accessibility, by meeting boys where they are, with people they know and trust.
As of February 2023, advocates from both Cape Assist and Gateway CAP have trained a combined total of 140 coaches and other influential figures across the state of New Jersey in the CBIM curriculum, enabling them to then reach an estimated 3900 young people. Both agencies have several more training sessions scheduled for the remainder of the year.
Cape Assist has provided CBIM training to a wide array of influential figures beyond athletic coaches including after school programs, local youth gyms, youth groups and churches and police officers. They have been strategic in gaining buy-in for the program by marketing CBIM during community movie night events, local youth boxing matches, and family nights in the community. Cape Assist’s CBIM implementation was also featured in the county’s local newspaper!
Gateway CAP tapped into community leaders’ existing interest in Coaching Boys Into Men and is partnering with multiple school districts, athletic clubs, and community organizations who have been wanting to implement the program for some time now. Shifting community culture has been Gateway’s selling point for CBIM.
Both Cape Assist and Gateway CAP shared that the reception of the CBIM curriculum has been extremely positive across counties. Those trained in the curriculum see the value of and need for a violence prevention program like CBIM in the lives of the young people they work with. Some coaches even shared that they wished they had a program like CBIM when they were younger! Trained coaches were able to take the CBIM curriculum and use it to spark engaging and meaningful conversations with their young athletes.
For other advocates looking to implement the program, lessons from the New Jersey teams mainly revolved around scheduling time with volunteer staff, evaluation logistics, and overall coordination of new trainees. Advocates have learned important lessons in remedying these challenges, which will aid in continued implementation of Coaching Boys Into Men.