Young Men’s Service League

An innovative and rapidly growing program making a difference in our community is the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL). This four-year program for moms and their high-school sons offers these special family units chances to serve together in philanthropic outreach to address critical local needs.

Recognizing that during the high school years, spending quality time with sons is important and that volunteer work benefits young people, YMSL founders set out to make mother-son time together both fun and effective. According to their website, they strive to develop young men into capable, confident, and compassionate leaders of tomorrow by instilling in them a heart for service. Each year, members commit to serve at least 20 hours in support of chapter-approved philanthropies in their area.

Nationwide, YMSL currently represents over 7,000 moms and 8,000 young men as part of 100 chapters across 15 states. Nine of those chapters are in the Atlanta area.

Mary Montgomery, SM&Ps founding and managing partner, and her son, Max have been actively involved in the Buckhead chapter for two years. Primarily, they deliver food to the homes of the children who aren’t able to go to the Agape afterschool program, but on this project they served needy elderly citizens.

“This has been a wonderful chance to not only help the community in a variety of ways,” Mary said, “but also to get to know Max even better. It is difficult when they are teenagers to find common areas of interest. He has to do community service hours and I saw an opportunity to do those with him. Seeing him build fellowship with friends from school while growing into a young man who is a focused and caring leader has been a very satisfying experience.”

Contrary to rumors, teenagers do sometimes enjoy being seen with their mothers. “I am required to do community service hours at school,” said Max. “It is really nice the school allows me to use the YMSL community service hours towards those credits because I get to do them with my mom.”