Westfield senior Keondre Coburn gets help from his friends as he practices tying a tie during his school’s Male Summit event.
HOUSTON – March 9, 2018 – Seniors at Westfield High School may not have expected to be in a men’s necktie-tying competition when they filed into the school’s performing arts center Friday, but it was all part of a plan to get them to think about the fast-approaching future.
Young men from all grade levels at Westfield High School participated in the male summit meeting, “Taking the World by Storm.” Venitra Brisby, a counselor at Westfield, said the staff was concerned about a few students who were approaching graduation without a solid plan for their future in place, so they decided to ask the Spring community for help. The request brought business leaders, college representatives, entrepreneurs, police officers and motivational speakers onstage to offer advice and information to the young men at Westfield.
“The goal is for them to be educated about not only what their career options are but just to be educated about life. How to be men after high school,” Brisby said.
Among the topics presented were healthy living, building self-confidence and how to present yourself in the workplace. One of the panelists initiated a relay race in the auditorium that involved the students learning to quickly tie a proper knot in a men’s necktie.
Ian V. Chestnut, who owns IVC Productions, a local website design company, urged the young men to learn what is needed for the professional world, using an example of struggling with a tie knot before an important job interview. He encouraged them to prepare themselves with the knowledge to prosper in the workplace environment.
“I wanted them to get the importance of realizing just what you don’t know, and be open to learning new things,” said Chestnut.
That message was not lost on senior Johnie Joel Jackson, who said the thought the event was critically important for teenage males. “They are presenting to us how the world works and what young men like ourselves can do to better ourselves as we move on in life,” Jackson said.
The Spring community members offered advice from the stage and also met with students individually to answer any questions the students may have about life after high school. Events like this one are a major component of Spring ISD’s five-year strategic plan, Every Child 2020, and the district continues to encourage a culture of high community engagement.
Westfield Principal David Mason thanked the community members who took time from their day to come to the school and offer help. “By coming here today, they are building bridges with our students and giving them avenues and opportunities to consider as they move toward graduation,” said Mason.