The Ascension ProjectThe Ascension Project

5 Core Principles: What Boys Need to Succeed


Boys benefit from families that are supportive and secure. And while not all boys can count on their immediate families for that stability, extended and adoptive families can provide the nurturing environment that strengthens self-esteem and fosters a sense of belonging.


Boys must be given the freedom to write their own scripts and to rewrite any negative narratives they may have inherited. To break the cycle of dysfunction, some boys must learn to “walk alone.”


Boys should be encouraged to aim high, and not embrace so many of the existing stereotypical (and negative) definitions of masculinity. Boys must be taught that what defines a man is his ability to love, and to act responsibly; to exercise self control; demonstrate respect for others, and value restraint as an expression of discipline and determination.


As they mature, boys require the support and attention from caring adults who can ensure their safe passage into manhood. These mentors won't just be advisors and counselors, but trusted friends with whom boys can celebrate rituals and ceremonies, and other benefits of fellowship.


Boys need their own community-a boys' nation-that's self-sustaining and worthy of pride. In this boys’ nation, they'll find others who understand their hardships, obstacles and fears, who care deeply for them and believe in them, and who encourage them to look after the next generation of young men the way they have been nurtured.