Teenage boys at John Gray High School got a taste of the high life when they took their moms out to dinner as part of a program aimed at teaching them to be gentlemen.
The Boyz 2 Men group participated in etiquette training at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman before taking their mothers for a meal at the Lobster Pot.
Pastor Christopher Murray, the school counselor who runs the group, said the boys responded well to the program and treated their mothers to a memorable night.
“They opened doors for them, pulled out their chairs, they allowed them to order first and at the end of the day they each gave their mothers a red rose and serenaded them with a sentimental expression of what they mean to them.
“It was so good. I think some of the mothers didn’t want the evening to end.”
Twenty-two boys took part in the dinner outing.
The Boyz 2 Men program originally was aimed at boys who faced suspension or were continually in trouble for behavioral issues. But it has broadened its scope this year and includes a cross-section of boys from throughout the school.
“In years gone by,” Pastor Murray said, “the group has been for boys on the extreme end of the spectrum, but we mixed it up a bit this year and included a few boys that are doing very well, in the hope that they would be leaders for the group and model good behavior.
“The boys treated their moms so well, and what it showed me is that when they are exposed to the right type of environment and instruction, they can meet the challenge.”
Donna Yen said it was an honor and a privilege to attend the night with her son Taj. She said it was a splendid evening she would remember forever.
“The boys showcased their etiquette skills and all that they have learned in the presence of their mothers, and it was a pleasure being in their midst,” she said. “This will teach and groom our boys in becoming responsible and outstanding gentleman and citizens in the community and within these islands.”
Pastor Murray said the next initiative for the group would involve volunteer work at the Pines Retirement Home. He said getting the boys out of their comfort zone and showing them different sides to the Cayman Islands helps them in school and in life.
“There is still room for improvement for some of them, but their teachers are telling me they are seeing positive progress,” he added.
The Lobster Pot subsidized the meals, and Maples FS, Cayman National Bank and Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson contributed sponsorship to help fund the evening.