CINCINNATI — Studies show young people with a formal mentor relationship are 95% more likely to stay on track to graduate high school, yet only 1 in 3 American students have a mentor today. Recognizing this, Old Spice and Walmart launched “School of Swagger,” a program committed to ensuring no student drops out of high school due to a lack of confidence by creating positive personal and academic relationships through mentorship.
Today, in partnership with Walmart, America’s Promise Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and C.H.A.M.P.S. Male Mentoring Program, a Chicago-based mentoring program for young men, the group celebrates the first-ever “School of Swagger” graduating class with an invite-only commencement event in Chicago, Ill., with a second graduation celebration in Old Spice’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio on June 17th, 2022.
Old Spice and Walmart launched “School of Swagger,” a program committed to ensuring no student drops out of high school due to a lack of confidence by creating positive personal and academic relationships through mentorship.
Now in the second chapter of its 10-year goal of increasing high school graduation rates by 10 percent, Old Spice has focused on pairing adult mentors of all ages with young people across the nation, providing them with resources, materials and support to connect with and inspire their mentee. The “School of Swagger” launched at a pivotal time as recent surveys revealed that most students reported feeling disconnected from teachers, peers, and other adults during the pandemic, demonstrating an increased, immediate need for mentors and other relationships.2 But studies prove supportive relationships with caring adults have positive and additive effects on young people’s academic engagement and learning.3
Old Spice’s graduation ceremonies will celebrate high school seniors who have participated in local mentorship programs as mentees. Graduates will be accompanied by their mentors, as well as other family members, and treated to a motivational commencement speech by renown talent agent and entrepreneur Rich Paul, who will honor the impact his mentors have had on his life and career while motivating the national need for mentors across the country to join the “School of Swagger” so that no student drops out of high school due to a lack of confidence or lack of access to mentors.
Joining Paul on stage will be social media celebrity, comedian, content creator, and “Old Spice Guy”, Adam W. Primarily known for his funny short videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, Adam is no stranger to the importance of educating young people, having helped fund and open primary schools around the world in underserved communities. The 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Honoree will share his personal experiences with mentors and the impact they have had on his life.
“I know firsthand that there are many, many pathways to achieving success in life,” said Rich Paul, CEO and Founder of Klutch Sports Group. “Consistency, support and mentorship are the keys to helping young people see a future of unlimited possibilities for themselves beyond high school. The Old Spice “School of Swagger,” can help connect students in underserved communities with more people, programs and career paths that will inspire them to dream big.”
Prior to signing on as the inaugural “School of Swagger” graduation keynote speaker, Paul partnered with Old Spice and Procter & Gamble for These Hands, a series of videos that included professionals from a variety of industries who shared messages to inspire the next generation of young people to pursue careers beyond the sports field, while honoring the impact mentors had in each of their own lives.
Old Spice has long helped young guys transition into adulthood by feeling confident in their skin, providing great smelling, long-lasting and affordable grooming products to look and feel their best. The brand also recognizes true confidence extends beyond the bathroom – and for millions of youth across the country, having confidence includes access to academic resources and a community of encouragement, support, and validation to show how education directly correlates with long-term success in life. In fact, young people with a formal mentor relationship are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.4
“Mentorship is a proven key enabler to keeping high school students on track to graduation,” said Matt Krehbiel, Old Spice vice president at Procter & Gamble. “That’s why Old Spice is on a mission to help motivate high school students and inspire the next class of creatives, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, and community leaders with a national call for mentors who can help showcase opportunities across a wide spectrum of professional disciplines.”
Old Spice and Walmart are proud to join forces with partners who are dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and thrive and that every individual, institution, and sector shares the responsibility to help young people succeed.
“We’re excited to participate in the ‘School of Swagger’ program and, through our collaborative efforts with Procter & Gamble, help young people in our communities succeed,” said Evelyn Trejo Buyer for Deodorants AND Antiperspirants Walmart. “These young people are the next scientists, technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs and deserve the support and guidance of a mentor.”
Learn more about how you can become a mentor today to help them graduate tomorrow by visiting www.walmart.com/schoolofswagger.