Building brighter tomorrows
for the boys of today.

Leadership Group

Leadership Group is comprised of those students who have completed the first ten lessons at Cherry Gulch, possess a desire to lead their peers, and have met the requirements for entry into the group. The primary roles of group members are to be both the mentors and representatives of their student body. Members serve as the representative speakers of their peers in order to relay respectful and organized suggestions and input to the management team at Cherry Gulch. Discussions of effective mentoring skills, role models and leaders are the focus of the group process.


Requirements for Application

Applicants must present the following essay to the Leadership group and defend any questions posed by the group. The group discusses and votes on each applicant to determine appropriate level of individual responsibility and eligibility.

Complete at least a 1 pg. essay keeping the following questions in mind:

What is a mentor?

Why is it important to have mentors in our lives?

How is a mentor a positive role model and example?

How does a mentor exemplify the four core values?

What personal strengths do you offer to peers whom you might mentor?


Orient new peers to the group and program.

Serve as a positive support and example to new peers.

Provide positive influence to mentees and others, and encourage honesty and compliance.

Engage mentees on a regular basis to develop and maintain a positive relationship.

Acting As If

‘Acting as if’ means students must behave as the persons they aspire to be rather than the persons they have been in the past. Everyone makes mistakes, but intention to improve and grow is the expectation of group members.

The psychological principle that underlies acting as if is that, when individuals act in a certain way long enough, eventually the thoughts and feelings that support the behavior also will strengthen. Feelings, insights, and altered self-perceptions often follow behavior change rather than precede it (go before it).

Practicing ‘Acting as if’ you are a positive leader it will ultimately lead to your internalizing the core values, so that they become your personal strengths instead of weaknesses.

Cherry Gulch leaders are expected to demonstrate the following attributes in daily living:

Honesty in word and deed: Honest expression of emotions and reactions reveal our true self-identities to others and to ourselves.

Responsible concern for others: By observing, challenging, and supporting others we show that we care for others and for ourselves. Responsible concern is necessary for self-help and mutual self-help.

Work ethic: Self-reliance, excellence, earned rewards, and commitment enable us to become productive members of society.

Active and continuous learning: Learning about ourselves and the world strengthens our ability and resolve to maintain a positive and constructive lifestyle.

Mentors and Leaders Provide Honest, Positive Support

Hold peers accountable by calling attention to undesirable actions, attitudes, or mindsets through supportive, responsible concern.

Give and request feedback.

Give positive behaviors equal time by calling attention to positive actions at least as often as calling attention to negative actions. Look for what is being done right or correctly and magnify that behavior, or what could have been done better rather than leaving the issue on a sour or negative note.

Encourage peers to remember to ‘act as if’ they are already the person they aspire to be, rather than the persons they have been in the past.

Core Values

The four program core values are: Respect, Responsibility, Relationship, and Integrity.

These four values are the basic building blocks of a healthy and happy lifestyle, and prerequisites of fulfilling a mentoring role. Participating in the Cherry Gulch Leadership group allows you the opportunity to receive and give feedback, guidance, and support from your peers and staff while you are on your growth journey here at Cherry Gulch. Mentoring is a clearly identifiable way to show yourself and others (your peers and staff) how well you have adapted these core values and new skills into your life, and how ready you are to move on living a positive constructive lifestyle, and go home.

The group’s core values are the foundation for appropriate living. As you learn and practice these skills, your personal foundation for living will become a stable platform for you to stand on as you attempt to positively influence and support others within your helping reach. It is your responsibility to understand how these values fit into your everyday life patterns. Before leaving here, you should be able to show you understand what they all mean, and how they fit into the new lifestyle you have built for yourself while here.


Respect starts with recognizing how you have been disloyal to others. As you admit disloyalty, you begin to learn you can respect yourself. This opens the door to respecting others. Through Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) techniques, students are shown how their past maladaptive behaviors are evidences of disrespect to themselves and to others. As group members observe appropriate ways to handle frustrations and setbacks, they familiarize themselves with methods of patiently treating others with responsible concern and with respect.


Responsibility takes shape as group members come to take ownership of past mistakes and recognize the part they may have played to provoke the chaos that had surrounded them. As members assume responsibility for themselves, this extends to immediate peers, staff, and finally widens to the entire community.


Relationships are developed as the process of change unfolds. When students begin to find commonalities with others who share the same struggles, a sense of unity and purpose unfolds encouraging the development of trust, emotional risk-taking, interpersonal relationship skills, and self-healing.


Integrity overarches the other three core values and insinuates incorruptibility—maintaining a resilient, yet inflexible attitude of respect for others. Integrity is the manifestation of ones ability to stay focused on personal responsibility. It demands the welfare of others be placed before selfish wants or inappropriate needs. Integrity is evidenced by an unwavering search for peace, or that which is right in the world and tirelessly avoiding that which is wrong.

How well you adapt to providing others feedback, showing responsible concern to your peers, and to the measure you are honest with yourself, and are willing to accept responsible concern shown to you from others, is how you show progress and move through the program levels. Another measurement of how well you are learning and practicing responsible concern for your peers, group members, staff, etc., as it relates to the four program core values, is evidenced when you are not only able to express what you have learned, but how well you have internalized these values and show it by focusing on what you may give back as a mentor, rather than what you may get.

Terms of Ineligibility

Members who prove to have difficulty with following through with the responsibilities of the group or put their personal integrity into question due to actions, will be discussed and voted on for determination of loss of eligibility. Members who are found ineligible will be asked to leave the group until they can demonstrate more appropriate behavior to reapply.

Students who are found to be ineligible upon initial application will be given constructive feedback on how they can improve and be encouraged to reapply after they have demonstrated necessary improvement.