CLEMSON – The Urban League of the Upstate welcomed Clemson’s Julio Hernandez to its “man cave,” Monday to talk to young men about how their futures can look.

The Urban League developed the Upstate ManCave program to help young men “foster healthy self-care, relationship-building, mindfulness and financial skills.”

Hernandez, the associate director of Hispanic Outreach for Clemson Inclusion and Equity, urged students in the Urban League program to identify their academic strengths and build on them.

Students in the Urban League of the Upstate's ManCave Program pose with Clemson's Julio Hernandez

Students in the Urban League of the Upstate’s ManCave Program pose with Clemson’s Julio Hernandez

“It is important that students sharpen their craft or interests in what they study throughout the school year,” Hernandez said. “I believe this will help them achieve success moving forward as college students.”

Hernandez also encouraged the young men to look for opportunities to help others and share what they learn in the classroom.”

“It’s an exercise in maturity. High school is an important time in the lives of these young men,” Hernandez said. “If the students apply what they learn to real life situations, like helping a schoolmate better understand a subject, they begin developing high standards for themselves.”

Hernandez wrapped up his conversation with the students with words of wisdom by American psychologist Abraham Maslow who said, “In any given moment, we have two choices: step forward into growth or step backward into safety.”

Organizers said the Urban League’s ManCave program provides a comprehensive approach to the complexity of youth development by addressing the convergence of high-risk behaviors and healthy development.