The Husband Institute: Where boys learn how to be men

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MEMPHIS, Tenn -- "I respect the God in you. I respect the genius in you."

Pastor Ricky Floyd's Husband Institute is in session. The program teaches boys how to transition into adulthood.

"We want to give them hope. We want to give them skills. We want to give them love. We want to give them protection, affection and direction in a way that guides them to a path of success."

The idea for the mentoring program was born from a simple question the pastor said he asked during a Sunday service at the Pursuit of God in Frayser.

"How many men in here have been trained how to be a husband? Out of about 500 people at church that day, not one hand went up," said Pastor Floyd.

Pastor Floyd said most of the boys, however, have been taught about crime and life on the streets. He said it's important to channel young men's energy in a positive direction early.

"We want to build strong men, but we want to start with boys. You have to have strong boys in order to develop strong men."

"The institute is for boys ages 12 to 18 but some as young as 6 and as old as 21 have been through the program," he added.

Volunteer Robert Barnes has been working with the Husband Institute since 2013 teaching martial arts.

"First off, it starts with confidence, discipline, self control and, of course, an indomitable spirit; a spirit to be able to understand, learn, listen and follow instructions. So martial arts is a way of life. It's an art."

"You're only one to two people away from wherever you want to be in life."

Other mentors help the young men with financial literacy, mechanics, and even hunting.

Pastor Floyd said 95 percent of the boys attending the institute don't have a positive male role model in their home.

"I've learned how to grow up in life and then how to handle those that's not really on the exact same level as you are-- handle people that's having a very bad day," said 11-year-old Eric Neal. Neal has been with the Husband Institute for the past three years.

Pastor Floyd's congregation worships in the heart of Frayser where crime is high. He said the Husband Institute is going to help reduce crime and make the community safer.

"We're not going to to do it in 6 months, but in 2 years or so you're going to the impact."

A positive impact on these young men's lives and families.

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