Students learn what knot to do

Students learn what knot to do
February 14
09:36 2019

Earlier this week nearly three dozen young men from local middle schools gathered at the Crosby Scholars headquarters to learn how to tie the perfect Four-In-Hand, Half Windsor, and Full Windsor knot during the first-ever Guys with Ties event.

While attending the event hosted by Crosby’s AAMPED (African-American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams) program, along with learning how to tie a necktie, young men also had the opportunity to connect with male mentors and learn interviewing skills. To jumpstart the event, Noah Williamson, AAMPED outreach specialist, told the young men why preparing for their futures now and overcoming stereotypes are so important.

“The purpose of AAMPED program is to change the norm about African-American males. With the news and social media, there are a lot of stereotypes that have already pinned you against society,” said Williamson while addressing the young men.

“… So that’s why we stress the importance of being prepared and having these tools that can make you stand out and apart. We also want you to have confidence in yourself. It’s a lot of negative perceptions about African-American males, but we want to bring out the great things because there is greatness inside each and every one of you.”

Before getting down to business with the neckties, the young men were put into groups with mentors where they worked on “elevator speeches,” a brief message or icebreaker designed to communicate who you are. After working on interviews, working on the Full Windsors, and enjoying pizza and snacks, participants picked out two ties to take home.

When discussing the event, Richard Watts, AAMPED coordinator, said they scheduled it during Black History Month because he wanted the young men to know they are a part of history. He said they felt it was important to reach out to young men who are in middle school before they went off to high school and to let them know they have support.

“We’re here tonight to show you that you have support besides mom and dad. You have support all around you tonight and we want to let you know we’re proud of you. We want you to continue doing what you’re doing and make us even prouder,” Watts said.

AMMPED (African-American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams) started in 2016 to address negative stereotypes and help young African-American men in our community continue their education after high school. The program is open to middle and high school students who are current members of Crosby Scholars. For more information, visit or call 336-725-5371.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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