May 15, 2024 - News

"Connection before correction" is New B.O.Y. motto

Two photos of a man in a white tank top and hat, one with him holding boxing gloves for a child.

Kareem Hines founded New B.O.Y. in 2009. Photos: Courtesy of Jon Cherry

Hines knows the power of a mentor.

The big picture: Growing up in Harlem with a single dad, Hines met his own mentor at the neighborhood YMCA and later followed him to Indianapolis.

  • Hines worked in various mentoring and community outreach programs until launching New B.O.Y. in 2009.

Zoom in: The heart of what New B.O.Y. does happens Wednesday nights at leaders' circle.

  • Dozens of boys, ranging from ages 6 to 18, sit in a circle of folding chairs in an empty storefront and talk about what's going on in their lives — their successes, their challenges and what's going on in the city around them.

The evening always starts with wins from the week before — good grades, positive changes in attitude.

Yes, but: Accountability is the name of the game, and Hines doesn't let them get away with anything.

What he's saying: "I'm just trying to have the balance of ... the harsh reality of what they're really dealing with but at the same time I show them I love them."

  • "I know that we can be consistent in a young man's life. We can develop a real transformational relationship with him and that's where the connection before correction philosophy comes in."
  • "It's all about the connection with them and the more we can see them the quicker we can make that connection."
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