Each year, the Chicago Bears and Youth Guidance partner on the Bears School Outreach program. As part of Bears School Outreach, Chicago Bears players visit Chicago Public Schools to speak to, motivate, and interact with students who are part of Youth Guidance's B.A.M (Becoming a Man) and W.O.W. (Working on Womanhood) programs.
B.A.M. focuses on six core values, including Integrity, Accountability, Self-Determination, Positive Anger Expression, Visionary Goal Setting, and Respect for Womanhood. W.O.W. focuses on five core values, including Self-Awareness, Emotional Intelligence, Healthy Relationships, Visionary Goal-Setting, and Leadership.
Bears School Outreach kicked off its 18th season on Tuesday, September 22 when Bears Senior Director of Special Projects Patrick McCaskey and linebackers Shea McClellin and Christian Jones visited Jordan Community Academy to visit with students. The group spoke during an assembly with 6th, 7th and 8th graders and then participated in a B.A.M. session with 25 of the 8th grade students.
The program continued on Tuesday, September 22 when wide receiver Alshon Jeffery visited Hancock High School, tight end Zach Miller visited Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, and safety Brock Vereen visited Chicago Vocational Academy. The players participated in both B.A.M. and W.O.W. sessions at each of the schools.
During B.A.M and W.O.W. sessions, the players and students are asked to "check-in" by saying how they are feeling physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Once everyone checks in, the B.A.M. and W.O.W. counselors will lead the session, either focusing on one of the core values, or on an issue that a student or students may be struggling with.
The sessions offer an open forum for students to discuss what is on their minds and hearts, and get feedback from their peers and leaders. The Bears players participate freely in the discussions, often sharing challenges that they faced growing up, which students are usually surprised to find aren't much different from what they are facing today.
Bears School Outreach is one of the Bears longest-running programs and is brought to you by the University of Phoenix, the Official Education Partner of the Chicago Bears.