Expanded Success Initiative

Expanded Success Initiative

Our Partnership with the Expanded Success Initiative

The Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) is an educational component of the Office of the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). YMI is the nation’s most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of Black and Latino young men.

As part of that comprehensive effort, ESI has invested in 40 public high schools that have shown promise in reversing this trend. ESI uses new ideas and creative solutions to tackle the educational achievement gap and increase the number of Black and Latino young men who graduate high school prepared to succeed in college and careers.

Scenarios USA is partnering with ESI by training teachers and school support staff at these schools in implementing the academically rigorous, common core standards-based “What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity?” curriculum during full-day workshops. Educators then implement the nine-lesson curriculum, with support through on-site observation/feedback and monthly technical assistance from Scenarios USA staff. Within the curriculum, students will participate in a wide range of interactive assessment tasks; including critical analysis of three REAL DEAL films and written responses in their Scenarios USA writing journals. Each student will write a story, play or script, which can be performed and/or published.

What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity? Curriculum

Our curriculum uses an inquiry-based approach to spark discussion among students about real and relevant issues in their lives, such as gender, relationships, race, class, masculinity in the media, power, and violence. The curriculum engages students in grades 6-12 with a wide range of abilities and learning styles through activities and the use of three Scenarios USA films, written by teens, for teens.

Sample activities from the curriculum:

  • Compare and contrast opening scenes from films; create your own for the story of your life
  • Respond to creative writing prompt in student journal
  • Create a visual display that deconstructs the portrayal of men and women of color in mainstream advertising
  • Analyze favorite song lyrics for messages about gender, power and identity
  • Create and perform a piece of spoken word about strength and violence

“Even students that are usually reluctant to take part in discussions were waving their hands wildly. Their enthusiasm ran so high the difficulty lay in getting the discussion to eventually come to an end.”
What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity? Teacher

Program Outcomes

Scenarios USA has demonstrated that when adolescents share their opinions and fears, they feel less isolated, more valued and self-confident, and less likely to engage in unhealthy relationships. In the What’s the REAL DEAL About Masculinity? Curriculum, questions and activities relating to masculinity, gender, race, class, place and poverty directly incorporate each student’s own life and his social context, into the classroom. Two-thirds of the students interviewed during our What’s the REAL DEAL About Masculinity?evaluation reported that the program greatly enhanced their sense of connectedness and engagement with school and schoolwork, particularly those who ordinarily felt alienated at school.

For more information contact:
Scenarios USA
(718) 230-5125

NYC DOE Vendor Code: 134117469

Michael and Luis“I think the real deal of being masculine, is any individual who cares for others (peers, friend, and family), who rises above others negative expectations and exceeds, and one who isn’t afraid of expressing his/her self, no matter what the situation may be.”
What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity? Student


MANchild Still“The biggest challenge about masculinity is that you often times have to step up and be the role model to others so they follow in your footsteps so they can also spread the goodness around their society.”
What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity? Student


“Students have never felt so comfortable sharing. This accessible topic opened the doorway for a more communicative and positive environment.”

What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity? TeacherMAlik