Renaissance Man Cornelius Bryant Teaches Etiquette to Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center Residents
“I’ve gotten feedback from the students and without exception, they all say that this is a course that should be offered again,” said Major Martha Sheppard, Co-director of The Salvation Army ARC.
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. — Cornelius Bryant, “The Renaissance Man,” has started teaching a second eight-session course covering life skills, leadership and etiquette to men at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). The weekly evening classes last eight weeks, with a break for Thanksgiving.
Bryant’s students volunteer for the course. “At first,” says Bryant, “they are a bit shy and don’t know what to expect. But I work at getting to know each of them to start drawing them out, getting them to open up and contribute to our conversations. By week three, my students are turning into teachers.”
The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers are 180-day residential work-therapy programs that provide spiritual, social, and emotional assistance to people who are recovering from alcohol or substance abuse issues and need a stable, supportive environment while they learn the skills and routines, they need to find gainful employment and permanent housing.
About 120 program participants are 21 to 65 years old and must have passed a drug test and breathalyzer when they arrive. They need to perform a work therapy assignment for up to eight hours a day, six days a week to help them establish a good work ethic.
Individual schedules can be adjusted to meet participant needs. The program also requires attending counseling sessions, educational classes, and worship services.
Major Donald Sheppard and his wife, Major Martha, supervise the San Bernardino ARC, and Martha Sheppard had this to say about Bryant’s class: “I’ve gotten feedback from the students, and without exception, they all say that this is a course that should be offered again.”
Major Sheppard collected written feedback from the students, who at this writing have completed six of the eight weeks. Major Sheppard notes that they are all great workers who have what it takes to get and hold a job. The problem is their attitude and ability to solve problems.
“Bryant’s classes are teaching them a new mindset with the core lesson that the outer man is a reflection of the inner man, and it is the inner man that needs a new direction,” says Major Sheppard.
Bryant’s curriculum covers communication skills, social skills, proper hygiene, personal grooming, proper attire, bathroom etiquette, accountability, consideration for others and dining etiquette.
All nine skills smooth participants’ rough edges and add to their self-confidence and ability to present an agreeable appearance and manner. This improves the ability to create the friendly, productive relationships essential to getting and holding a job and reuniting with family members.
Bryant says, “I founded this program to encourage, empower and equip people to accept responsibility for their actions and make positive changes from the inside out that will transform themselves and others.”
Major Sheppard collected written feedback from the students, all of it positive. Due to their upbringing and life experience up to now, their approach to communicating with their peers has tended to be confrontational, which typically results in defensiveness and hostility. With the lessons from Bryant’s curriculum, they learn tact and a more collaborative approach.
One of the lessons taught is dining skills. Upon completion, graduates will be treated to a special dinner and given a certificate of completion that can be added to their résumé.
For more information call Cornelius Bryant at (951) 238-4720 or send an email to cornelius@TheRenaissanceManES.com.
The San Bernardino ARC has programs for men only, and the Pasadena and Anaheim locations serve women. For more information about The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Program call (909) 889-9605.
About The Renaissance Man
The Renaissance Man School of Life Skills, Leadership, and Etiquette was founded by Cornelius Bryant to encourage, empower, and equip people to accept responsibility for their actions and make positive changes from the inside out that will transform themselves and others.
These changes are brought about by teaching a combination of life skills, leadership skills, etiquette, good manners, respectful behavior, realistic goal setting, strategic planning and proper work ethic.
Research has shown that improvements in these areas lead to increased positive interactions within the family structure as well as society at large. Classes are provided for grades 6 through 12 and