SHARP MEN’s Bowties and Bourbon Men’s Brunch Raises Funds to Support Programs to Prepare Young Men Released from Local Juvenile Detention Centers for the Working World

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NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SHARP MEN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering professional attire and resources for men trying to overcome workforce barriers to employment, recently held the first Bowties and Bourbon Men’s Brunch to raise funds to provide suits to young men after they are released from local juvenile detention centers. The event was held at the Windsor Court Hotel and attracted several local dignitaries and community leaders.

The event, themed “Iron Sharpens Iron,” showcased how SHARP Men New Orleans operates as a “double-edge sword” where participants continuously sharpen one another through peer mentoring; personal development and professional engagement opportunities, said Patrick Young, Founder and Executive Director. The fundraising goal was $50,000 to purchase suits for 200 male youth offenders, which includes dress shirt, tie, belt and shoes.

“We would like to thank our generous sponsors, partners, and supporters,” Young said. “In New Orleans, juvenile arrests rose by 56 percent from 2016 to 2018, and felony arrests have more than doubled over that same time period. So, the question next is what happens after they are released? Most juvenile offenders are given the same clothes to wear out, which were the same clothes they wore going in.  I believe there is an opportunity here that can re-route a person’s self-esteem.”

Young added SHARP’s vision is to become an international network that provides resources to assist underserved men by establishing professional self-confidence thus providing an opportunity to build wealth for their families, and to give back to their communities.

Leading studies show that 55 percent of hiring managers create the first impression of a candidate from the way the person dresses and their demeanor, and 65 percent indicate that outward appearance could be the deciding factor between two almost – identical candidates.

SHARP MEN focuses on three key areas:

Look SHARP:

  • Clothing
  • Professional Branding
  • Professional Development

Think SHARP:

  • Employment Retention
  • Mentorship
  • Business Development

Stay SHARP

  • Financial Literacy
  • Men’s Health
  • Community Development

“What image of self and opportunity exists for the ex- juvenile offender after incarceration,” asked Young. “Many times, there is a loss of value as an individual. This project can correct some of those esteem issues. By providing a suit to the youth in juvenile facilities and pairing that suit with work readiness and mentorship classes we can begin to change the narrative. With the proper attire and mentorship, they can have the opportunity to look for employment instead of looking for another violation. Together, with your help, we can create transformational change in the juvenile justice system.”

For more information visit: http://www.sharpmen.org or call 504-603-6787.

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