- Letters from the Head of School
In a boys' school, the power of a healthy Brotherhood is transformational. This past Wednesday, when our students gathered for Prayer Buddies, the living proof was palpable.
At Princeton Academy, we believe in developing healthy relationships between young men across all grade levels. At the core of our Brotherhood is the Prayer Buddies program, which connects Lower School boys with Middle School young men in an intentional way. Every student has a Prayer Buddy, a fellow Hawk who quickly becomes a brother. The younger boys enjoy spending time with their older Prayer Buddies. They look up to these role models. The older boys take their mentoring to heart and devote themselves to being present with their younger Prayer Buddies. Herein lies the sweet magic that makes the PASH Brotherhood, well, special.
Relationships matter. As a society, we have grown accustomed to articles being published pointing to how boys are falling behind, and men are struggling. A body of work points to the importance of healthy relationships in the lives of boys and men. In his work titled I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners (a former PASH Faculty & Staff Summer Read) Dr. Michael Reichert, founding director of the Center for the Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives at the University of Pennsylvania, notes that “a pervasive theme running through the positive relationship narratives is that they are transformative…[and] developable.” Richard Reeves, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the recent work titled Of Boys and Men, states, “As society changes in all kinds of ways, technologically, economically, I think it’s important that we pay attention to what is very often an underappreciated human relationship- which is the friendship… Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, and are also formed in very different ways and in very different places.” At Princeton Academy, we believe this is especially true for boys and men.
At PASH, the bonds of Brotherhood are formed in a manner that transcends time and age. There is something uniquely special about the look on a boy’s face when he says, “That’s my Prayer Buddy!” What he’s really saying is, “I am here for you, I will look out for you, and I’ve got your back.” Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect and care. Each individual is seen, known, and valued for their inherent human dignity. Feeling believed in by one’s Prayer Buddy is a two-way street - the younger feels believed in by his mentor, and the older feels believed in as a role model; these are the seeds of friendship and fellowship. This is what a positive Brotherhood looks like.
Brotherly love is how we define our school spirit at Princeton Academy. This fundamental act, this core devotion, is what enables us to build good, creative, compassionate, and courageous men - for our world.
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