The Promising Center for Youth Excellence is home to an after-school and mentoring program for students in Franklin County. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the program serves approximately 100 African-American and Hispanic students.

Dr. Herman E. Walston, left, and Warith Majid demonstrate how to tie a tie to participants at the Promising Center for Youth Excellence.

Dr. Herman E. Walston, left, and Warith Majid demonstrate how to tie a tie to participants at the Promising Center for Youth Excellence.

“We have children ages 10-17 that come in Monday through Friday,” Warith Majid, a coordinator with Kentucky State University. “We find them mentors, take them on trips and teach healthy-living objectives.”

The program also teaches skills including personal development and wellness, disease prevention, injury prevention, cultural enrichment and career development via small-group and one-on-one mentoring.

During the fall semester, program staff members launched an initiative to collect ties from the KSU community. Once the ties were collected, they were distributed to the boys in the program. Along with the ties came a valuable lesson in how to properly knot one. Majid and program director Dr. Herman E. Walston, a professor of Child Development and Family Relations, introduced the skill to the students.

boys choose ties

Students chose their favorite tie from a collection donated by the KSU community.

“They were excited to learn something new,” Majid said. “The majority of them had never had anyone show them how to tie a tie. They picked it up pretty fast and they were enjoying themselves doing it.”

At the end of March, the program’s staff plans to present all of their participants with a new dress shirt and tie at a special ceremony.

“A young man can wear a white shirt and slacks and still look a little casual, but when he puts that tie on, he definitely looks professional and snazzy,” Walston said.