The Lake Charles Education Collaboration, a locally based education non-profit, will introduce a new mentoring program for fifth-grade boys at Ralph Wilson, Oak Park and Brentwood Elementary schools. Millionaire Boy$ Mentoring is designed to empower "little boys" and "junior men" to respect themselves, add value to others and consistently look for personal growth opportunities, said Cedrick LaFleur, president of the collaboration.

Targeting students at the early onset of adolescence is a pivotal opportunity to begin shaping their personal outlook on life, he said.

"The name is by design. It's not focusing on millionaire but it is focused on the mindset. If you believe you are, then you are," LaFleur said.

One in three students grow up without a mentor. LaFleur said that is a tragedy because mentorship has been proven to exponentially improve social, academic and leadership characteristics.

LaFleur said Millionaire Boys$ Mentoring stands apart from other programs because every fifth-grade boy will be able to participate in the program.

"It's not the best ones. It's not the worst ones. Every fifth-grader is automatically accepted into the program. We believe every child deserves to have a mentor," he said.

The group will meet with students twice a month during their P.E. or enrichment hour as an "education enhancement" component.

"We have to catch these students right where they are to have the biggest impact. If we try and catch them after school or on the weekends, often they can't show up because of parents or other obstacles," LaFleur said.

LaFleur said the program operates on four guiding principles: reject passivity, act responsibility, lead courageously and live in the flow of God's blessings.

"We want every child to believe that they are a leader. Leading my team, I never posted an ad for a follower. I always posted ads to find the best leader I could find," he said.

Students will use the "Big Life Journal for Kids" for their bi-monthly lessons, activities and crafts. While all of the lessons are values-based, they do focus on healthy development of interpersonal skills.

"The goal is to help them feel good about themselves and feel good about complimenting someone else. I don't always have to beat you down to make myself feel good."

Millionaire Boy$ Mentoring will begin in September and continue through May. For more information visit, www.lafleurleadershipinstitute.com.

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