Guest Commentary: Boys of Tomorrow season wraps up

Published 5:54 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

By Jacqi Ruhter

Austin Aspires Communications & Marketing Coordinator

As the sun sets on another successful Boys of Tomorrow (BOT) season, we reflect on the growth, camaraderie, and excitement that filled the past six weeks. The BOT Club, a cherished program designed for young men who have completed third to seventh grades, has once again proven its impact in nurturing confident, self-aware, and motivated individuals. This transformative summer initiative, led by Austin Aspires, not only trains the participants for a 5K fun run, but also provides a supportive space for personal development, meaningful discussions, and exciting field trips.

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The boys who eagerly embarked on the BOT journey this summer have evolved into young men of resilience, with newfound skills and a profound understanding of their capabilities. Throughout the program, they engaged in various activities and experiences that fostered personal growth and the forging of lasting friendships.

Mornings commenced with invigorating physical activities, setting a spirited tone for the day ahead. These exercise sessions not only prepared the boys for the culminating 5K fun run but also instilled a sense of energy and enthusiasm that carried them through the day’s events.

Over the course of six weeks, each week brought unique learning opportunities that combined personal exploration, mental well-being, and teamwork. The young men delved into discovering and harnessing their strengths, nurturing their mental health, and even ventured into the realm of robotics by collaboratively building a moving bot. Additionally, they were taught the importance of respectful communication, self-motivation, and self-care practices.

Beyond the classroom, the BOT participants embarked on thrilling weekly field trips that added an extra layer of excitement to their summer adventure. Exploring attractions such as the Waterpark of Minnesota, The Hormel Institute, Niagara Caves, and indulging in rock climbing and kayaking in the lake created cherished memories that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Austin Aspires extends heartfelt gratitude to the numerous guest speakers who took time out of their busy schedules to impart their knowledge and wisdom to this extraordinary group of young men. The influence of these role models played a significant role in inspiring and shaping the boys’ aspirations for the future.

But our appreciation doesn’t stop there. We want to express a HUGE thank you to charitable individual community donors and Medicap Pharmacy, as well as Shoe Sensation and The Downtown Grill for providing great discounts on their services. Their unwavering support as well as generous grants have made it possible for us to provide this program free of charge to all participants. 

As the BOT Season draws to a close, we eagerly await the return of many of these remarkable boys next year, while warmly embracing the prospect of welcoming new participants into the fold. Austin Aspires remains committed to nurturing the potential of the next generation and is grateful for the generous support of the community and grant funders who make this life-changing program possible.

Through the Boys of Tomorrow program, our community’s young men are not just gaining physical prowess but are also building essential life skills, fostering meaningful connections, and creating memories that will propel them forward on their journey to becoming well-rounded, confident, and compassionate individuals. Together, we continue to invest in a brighter future, one BOT participant at a time.