Thousand Guys in Ties Program Empowers Secondary Students

March 9, 2015


Approximately 1,200 male students at Cypress Springs High School joined the Thousand Guys in Ties celebration, hosted by the Men of Honor, March 3-6.


March 7, 2014—Students at five CFISD schools celebrated unity and empowerment through the Thousand Guys and Gals in Ties or Girls in Pearls conferences. The program invites at least 1,000 young men or women at each campus to wear dress attire for an inspirational and educational opportunity.


Cypress Springs High School

Cypress Springs’ conference, hosted by the school’s Men of Honorgroup, lasted the entire week. Approximately 1,200 young men participated in the third annual event.

“It truly made an impact,” said Assistant Principal Clay Smith. “We want these young men to know that someone is always looking out for them and expecting great things from them. We want to sow seeds of success in them. As adults, we can sit on the sideline and cast judgments, or we can try to reach out to every kid and try to make a difference. That’s what this is all about.”

The conference kicked off on March 3 with a father-son breakfast with more than 100 guests that featured keynote speaker Spencer Tillman. The Cypress Springs culinary department provided breakfast for the event, which featured students Jared Davis as master of ceremonies and Keith Brandon providing opening remarks. Students Jaylen Boone and Aaron Page provided entertainment for the breakfast by playing piano and singing “Glory” by John Legend and Common.

The conference continued Wednesday with a Career Day in the commons area, which included a presentation by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

On Thursday, Cypress Springs students enjoyed the Thousand Guys in Ties conference featuring former NFL player and Church Without Walls youth pastor Tyrone Smith as the speaker. The young men in ties also took a group photo in front of the school building.

The conference concluded with “Black Out Friday,” when students wore black to “black out” negative distractions.

Cypress Creek High School

Cypress Creek’s second annual Thousand Guys in Ties Conference was a daylong event on March 6.

The day began with “Breakfast with Dad,” featuring a musical selection by two Cypress Creek students. The young men took a group photo in the commons area in the afternoon, followed by a reception with cookies provided by the culinary arts department.

Visiting guest speaker Chris Collins led the afternoon session, which featured a panel discussion in the auditorium focusing on issues young men face in today’s world.

Campbell Middle School

Campbell Middle School hosted its second annual Thousand Guys in Ties event on March 6. Assistant Principal Plas Williams estimated that “4 out of 6 males” wore ites on the celebratory day.

Participants received information from the college and career counselors at Cypress Creek and Cypress Ridge high schools, in addition to life lessons from local college students and community members.

A drawing was held for the opportunity to win a dress suit donated by Campbell’s Adopt-a-School partner, Resource One Credit Union. Lunch was donated for community guests by HEB – Store 657, located at Jones Road and West Road.


Truitt Middle School

Truitt Middle School hosted its inaugural Guys in Ties / Girls in Pearls event on Feb. 5, encouraging all staff and students to dress their best for the day.

Female students heard from guest speaker Becky Denton, Cypress Falls High School principal; and male students listened to a retired police officer; both who shared about making good choices for their future.

“I think the staff and students enjoyed the day and looked amazing,” said Teresa Baranowski, Truitt principal. We are planning to have a ‘Dress Your Best’ day once a month as a follow-up to the event and continue to stress the importance of making good choices throughout the year through our advisory program.”


Cook Middle School

Cook Middle School launched its inaugural Thousand Guys in Ties / Thousand Girls in Ties event on March 6, inviting all young men and women to don professional attire while achieving Assistant Principal Christopher Rose’s vision of eradicating hopelessness.

“We wanted to bring them hope by introducing them to careers they’ve never been introduced to before and give them the ability to dream,” said Rose, who launched the Guys in Ties program in CFISD in 2013. “We had approximately 1,500 participate. I didn’t anticipate this turnout, but it shows you that these young people yearn for something great and special in their lives.”

FBI Special Agent Al Tribble and Dr. Carl Robinson of Prairie View A&M University were the featured speakers for the male students, while Secret Service Agent Kim Smith and Dr. Sonia Boone of Prairie View A&M addressed the female students.

The students took large-group photographs and visited with representatives from a variety of local businesses and organizations in the main hallway and commons area:

  • Dr. Carl Robinson and Dr. Sonia Boone – Prairie View A&M;
  • LaByron Hall – Keystone Realty Group;
  • Donnell Cooper – Three Gentlemen School of Etiquette;
  • Kenneth Morris – Universal Elite Aerospace;
  • Men’s Warehouse,
  • U.S. Navy;
  • U.S. Army;
  • U.S. Marine Corps;
  • Brian Eckhoff – AXA Equitable;
  • Al Tribble and Kenny Ivy - Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI);
  • Orlin Mills – Health Integrity (Fraud Investigation);
  • Frank North – Pharmacist/Consultant,
  • Reginal Ratliff Jr. – Gov’t Claims Rep. (Social Security Administration);
  • Chris Bentson – UT computer science student;
  • Joseph Vallet – solution specialist for Verizon;
  • Lloyd Lee – Native Inc.;
  • Stephanie Oliver – McDonald’s entrepreneur,
  • Clayton Anderson – JV college representative;
  • Alyssa Jack – University of Houston;
  • Susan Brown – Banking;
  • Bobby Gordon – Engineer Operator for Houston Fire Department;
  • Roderick Gibson – Houston Police Department;
  • Laura Bello – Realtor for REMAX;
  • Roberta Perez – MMA fighter and trainer;
  • Gerald Daniels – Drilling Engineer;
  • Blake Steele – Oil and Gas Accounting;
  • Skip Harvey – Accounting;
  • Charles Atkinson – field operations for Comcast; and
  • Melissa Reich – Office of the Attorney General.


Rose said he still has the long-term districtwide goal of a “Ten Thousand Guys in Ties” event at the Berry Center.

“My vision is still there. Hopefully every year we can add a new high school to this movement,” Rose said. “Seeing these students show up and participate in force only emboldens me to keep pushing forward and see it come true.”


Keynote speaker Spencer Tillman illustrates the principle of creativity and destruction in a cup-stacking exercise with Cypress Springs senior Dylan McDade and sophomore Tristan Campbell during the Thousand Guys in Ties father-son breakfast on March 3.


FBI Special Agent Al Tribble addresses young men at Cook Middle School during the Thousand Guys in Ties conference on March 6.


Special Agent Kim Smith of the United States Secret Service addresses young women at Cook Middle School during the Thousand Gals in Ties conference on March 6.


Guest speaker Chris Collins led the afternoon session for Cypress Creek High School’s Thousand Guys in Ties event on March 6.


Campbell Middle School students came together for a group photo with Principal Dr. Cheryl Henry during their Thousand Guys in Ties event on March 6.


Campbell sixth-grade student Giovanni Rivero, center, won a drawing for a free dress suit donated by Adopt-a-School partner Resource One Credit Union. Also pictured with the representatives from Resource One (flanking Rivero) are (L-R) Shonari Mondesir, teacher; Brent Watson, teacher; Dr. Cheryl Henry, principal; and Plas Williams, assistant principal.


Cypress Falls High School Principal Becky Denton addresses young women at Truitt Middle School during the Girls in Pearls event on Feb. 8.

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