After The Bell: Gentlemen's Society

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by CHRIS FLANAGAN

WFAA-TV

Posted on April 26, 2010 at 3:35 PM

DALLAS - Imagine being in junior high and you're driven around in a limousine. It's happening in Fort Worth, but it's not because the students are ultra rich.

With a word of the day and shake of the hand, Dewayne Washington hopes to take a group of Fort Worth junior high students on the ride of their life. Whether it's inside of a limo or inside of a classroom, he's teaching the at-risk boys to become gentlemen.

"Everything you could possibly name a perfect father would teach his kid before 18 that's what we teach in the gentlemen's society," he said.

Washington founded the Gentlemen's Society several years ago with just four students. He now works with about 100 young boys between the ages of eight and 18 each week. The program trains them on how to become gentlemen through 22 different life courses, such as speech communication, anger management, money management, how to treat a lady and how to dress for success. 

All the boys are required to wear a shirt and tie.

With the lessons comes a little self-confidence. 

"It makes me feel good about myself because I just need to give myself a pat on the back just for looking this good,"  said Malik Recasner, a fourth-grade boy in the program.

To give the children a taste of success, Washington said the young men ride in a limo to different events, such as eating at fine restaurants and the opera.

The program's impact is powerful. It's not only about changing a life, but about changing a family tree.  

"His grandson won't know what it's like to not have a father in his life or not have a grandfather in his life," Washington said. "You're preparing someone's husband; you're preparing someone's father, great grandfather. A lot of these kids will leave inheritance to their son or grandson, and that is huge because of lot of them didn't have it."

Once they graduate the program, the hope is for the kids to travel on the road to success.

E-mail: cflanagan@wfaa.com

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