“What does it mean to be a man?” was the hot topic at Rocking Ur Teens
What better way to celebrate International Men's Day and Anti-Bullying Week, than by inspiring and engaging a room full of teenage boys, helping them to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, tackle bullying and grow their confidence and self-esteem? Rocking Ur Teens teamed up with Thomson Reuters to do just that at its one-day energetic and interactive event for 13 and 14-year-old boys on Monday. Bringing together teens from different backgrounds from across the UK, the event aimed to nurture our leaders of tomorrow, by providing them with positive male role models to inspire them through their experiences and raise their aspirations, showing them that anything is possible when they have the courage and confidence to find their own identity and work hard.
Hosted by presenter and TV star, Dean Quinton, the event took place on Monday at Thomson Reuters' London offices. Attendees heard from keynote speakers including Andrew Hulbert, CEO of Pareto; Asif Sadiq, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Ernst and Young and Kamal Hyman, Motivational Youth Speaker and Peter Jones' National Entrepreneur of The Year Winner. They shared their career stories and learned wisdom, as well as how they have become the successful people they are now.
The teens also took part in a spoken word workshop with Ragz-CV, a session on body image with the Self-Esteem Team and an energetic dance workshop with Dance West.
Participants heard from a panel of Apprentices, Interns and Graduates, who talked about their experiences and offered advice to their 13-year-old selves – with the benefit of hindsight.
Founded in 2015, Rocking Ur Teens is a social enterprise that equips young people with the skills that leaders of the future need. It does this through its annual events. To date, Rocking Ur Teens has welcomed over 1,000 students and teachers at its conferences. Over the next five years Rocking Ur Teens aims to host these on a global level with a view to forming a revolutionary teen community.
Talking about our last boys conference and what they took away from it, students said:
“This morning I learnt about mental illnesses, it was eye-opening… I've suffered with depression and I'm going to ask my head teacher if I can do an assembly about that... Being a man is about being in touch with your feelings.”
And: “Until now, I thought failure was a bad thing… Kamal said failure can be good as you can learn from your mistakes.”
And: “'I learnt that it's good to speak your mind and not be afraid to tell anyone your feelings.”
Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, the conference is highly subsidised and tickets cost just £20 per student or teacher, which includes a light lunch.