Men of Business ‘Pay it Forward’ Program: A Model for Building Social Capital in Disenfranchised Youth in High Schools

  • Lorelle J. Burton
  • Éidín Ní Shé
  • Sue Olliver


The Men of Business (MOB) ‘Pay it Forward’ programme was established on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, in 2009, by a group of local business owners with the aim of introducing a healthy lifestyle and attitude to marginalised male youth aged 13–17 years. For eight weeks, high school student participants attended weekly one-hour physical workouts, followed by a one-hour mentoring session. Each week, a different MOB mentor volunteered his time to share his story with the MOB boys. This chapter focuses on the lived experiences of the MOB programme from the boys’ and mentors’ perspectives, respectively. The qualitative research findings informed the development of an MOB operating model across five output areas—outcomes relevant to the MOB boys, MOB mentors, school, community and public policy—each with their corresponding social impacts. A logic model for introducing the MOB programme to new schools is also provided. Understanding the full social impacts of the MOB programme requires longer-term tracking of the change process relevant to key stakeholders, specifically the MOB boys and MOB mentors.


Disenfranchised youth Alternative education Mentoring programme Disengaged students Community networks 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorelle J. Burton
    • 1
  • Éidín Ní Shé
    • 2
  • Sue Olliver
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Health, Engineering and SciencesUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health SystemsUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.Library ServicesUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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