Mark Schillinger MDI Contributor, YMUW Founder
The idea has always been to take care of the young men in our world, knowing they were our future leaders, and therefor our future. The idea was also to have parents and their tween or teen son have better relationships with each other. This meant building an experiential weekend called the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend (YMUW), and to work hard at manning it and filling it.
Little did we know that it would also mean enrolling a female reporter who could help put this work on the map.
CNN reporter Lisa Ling was recommended to me by my close friend Dr. Warren Farrell, who wrote the book The Boy Crisis. I’m on a men’s team with Warren, and he told Lisa to include the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend in a story she was working on because that event teaches the principles and practices he recommends in his book.
Lisa’s producer contacted me and we had a great connection. Lisa attended the entire event – the first woman EVER allowed at a YMUW – and told me that she cried 10 times because she was so moved by how the mentors were able to help the young men be emotional, as well as encourage the young men to always give their best efforts.
Lisa called me the third week of October to tell me how excited she was that the public will get a first-hand look at a rite of passage for young men.
In terms of enrollment, I had a good referral; I had a good connection with, and there was a definite connection to a higher cause with which she aligned. Also, there were a number of things that impressed her producer. One of them was that I told him that most of the men who volunteer at the YMUW are men who have gone through right of passage initiations as adults. He didn’t quite know what that meant but when I explained it, he was very impressed.
And now that show is ready to roll. On the award-winning docuseries show, “This is Life With Lisa Ling”, our nonprofit, Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend, will be featured as the second part of the season premiere double episode called “Lost Boys.”
Please tune in.