There are 82 different ways to tie a tie but there is only 1 time you get a first impression.
By night he is radio host for the Quiet Storm segment of 102.9 KBLX radio in San Francisco. But by day Armand Carr is a mentor to kids participating in Bay Area workshops that are part of his nonprofit program, All Tied Up.
Confidence is key when it comes to All Tied Up, with the focus of giving confidence to the young men that might project they possess it. My time in adolescence was fraught with insecurity, worry and fear. I was always worried about what the opposite gender thought and how I looked and performed compared to my peers around me. It takes time and patience to bring confidence out of any of us.
“It was always there, I just pulled it out,” says Armand. With every young man he interacts with, Armand first locates the true confidence that lies beneath and that just needs some nurturing to bring it out. Then it all starts with learning how to tie a tie.
“Represent what that tie represents.”
Armand’s students can quickly list off the words they associate with someone who wears a tie: “Entrepreneur!”, “Professional!”, “He’s rich!”… But when Armand asks them to list off positive things about themselves, they are often unable to name one quickly. This lack of belief and confidence in self often accompanies those who never complete their education and struggle to find or keep jobs.
“71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, which is 9 times the average.” (National Principals Association Report) Armand shares, “I was raised by a single mother, but I never used that as an excuse.” And so there is a purposeful focus in the communities that All Tied Up becomes a part of – those that have a lack of fathers in the home.
I remember the first time I learned how to tie a necktie. There was a sense of accomplishment and status I felt from learning something a gentlemen would know. Everything Armand said as he detailed how starting with the simple act of tying a tie transforms the confidence of a kid, I realized I experienced without even noticing it at the time. This caused me to recognize how very important Armand’s work truly is.
“Respect yourself, your peers, and women.”
As Armand gave us a tour through his office at KBLX, he shared stories of how he had to swallow his pride after being a radio host in Los Angeles to then work in promotions at KBLX. He stayed focused and determined to be successful.“Trust the process,” declares Armand. Every lesson he has learned he tries to pass on to those students who are a part of All Tied Up. Ultimately, All Tied Up hopes to provide a space where young men can learn more about themselves and be given the opportunity to learn from someone who has been in their shoes before.
Armand left us with, “Just get out and do it. Don’t hesitate.” Many people have the desire or passion to effect change in the life of someone else, but they hesitate. Take action on your passion and watch someone else’s life change. If you have ties to donate or other means to aide All Tied Up, empty your closet and donate. Support mentors like Armand who are “passing on their passion!” Check out the All Tied Up Wishlist for the specific items needed. As Armand says, “money is great, but a tie will last.”