Watch CBS News

Detroit teens find confidence and connection through "Tied to Success" program

Detroit teens find confidence through "Tied to Success" program
Detroit teens find confidence through "Tied to Success" program 01:59

(CBS DETROIT) – Wearing a tie is already part of the uniform for students at the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men, especially when it is cooler outside. 

But on Wednesday, they learned about the different kinds of tie knots  — like four-in-hand, the half Windsor, and the full Windsor — to elevate self-esteem. 

"The younger ones sometimes are slouched over in the beginning. But once we give them a tie and teach them how to tie it, they sit up straight; they go look in the mirror; they strut around in the tie; they walk differently; they act differently," said Lt. Mark Young with the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association. 

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

It's part of the 'Tied to Success' initiative that Lt. Young began in the metro over 16 years ago. 

"To many of these young individuals. This is their first tie. It's symbolic. It's not the end of all, but it's the beginning of something," Young said.

Lt. Young believes a tie conveys a sense of responsibility and respect. He enlists others in law enforcement to teach these young men. 

"It forges relationships with the police department. It allows them to establish relationships based on their personal interaction rather than preconceived notions based on what someone else has said about the police officers," said Dr. Willie L. White II, principal of Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men. 

The young men heard from those officers during a Q&A session before the hands-on instruction.

"Building a bridge because I asked a question earlier about what was the hardest part about being in law enforcement, and he said building a bridge getting other people to join the law enforcement like that was the hardest part," said freshman Braylon Murray. 

There were also life lessons the more than two dozen people in attendance got to walk away with: 

"It was very interesting because it showed that you could come back from any loss; any loss is recoverable, and you have the chance to make up any time that you've lost," said senior James Coleman. 

They are making lasting impressions through small gestures like tying a tie. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.