Necktie Club dresses for success in high school and beyond

Linganore+Advisor+Marcus+Allen+%28Front+Right%29+poses+with+Catoctin+Highschool+Necktie+club+and+club+founder+Earl+Roberts+%28Middle%29.

Courtsey of Marcus Allen

Linganore Advisor Marcus Allen (Front Right) poses with Catoctin Highschool Necktie club and club founder Earl Roberts (Middle).

by Chase Breck, Reporter

“If you look good, you feel good; you feel good, you play good”– Deion Sanders 

Although these are the words of a famous football player, the message is still meaningful and applicable to many areas of life beyond a sports arena. They also serve as the inspiration behind Linganore High School’s Necktie Club.

Do not be fooled by the title, members of this club are taught more than just how to tie a necktie. The mission of this new club at Linganore is not only to teach any young man how to dress for success but focuses on making young men into better people. 

“We just teach students how to be better people. We teach them how to be supportive to other students and reinforce positive behavior,” said club vice president Justin Goff.

As part of the club, members will also complete volunteer work to help out the community. Assistant principal and advisor Marcus Allen wants to take club members on a campus clean-up, to feed the hungry and to participate in other community service events.

But that is not the club’s only contribution to the Frederick community, they also mentor kids at Windsor Knolls Middle School. 

“It’s very important [to mentor youth]. I know some kids now who definitely could have used something like this. That’s why we are going to Windsor Knolls to teach our skills,” Goff said.

Eric Simonson, a member of the Necktie Club, said that having mentors is very important to who he is today.

“My mentor was definitely my dad; he crafted me into who I am today. I couldn’t imagine someone not having a mentor in their life, ” said Simonson. Having a mentor is a core part of growing up.

The logo of the Linganore Necktie Club was designed by club president Victor Onabanjo. (Victor Onabanjo)

An article published by Western Kentucky University and written by Dr. Julia Roberts and Tracy Inman supports this premise. The article states that having a mentor helps with real-world applications of passion or interest, builds self-confidence, expands possibilities for learning, increases knowledge base, continuous progress, and friendship. 

There are various organizations dedicated to mentoring like Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood, www.mentoring.org, and National Mentoring Resource Center.

The importance of youth mentoring by such groups was the thinking behind the Necktie Club, which has become a very popular program among local schools in Frederick County. The Necktie Club was established at Frederick High School 26 years ago by Earl Robinson. It spread to Governor Thomas Johnson, Catoctin, Tuscarora and Urbana high schools before making its way to Linganore this year. 

Allen began the club at Linganore after he first heard about it in his position at Frederick High School where it started.

The objectives of the necktie club are good for any student. [It can] help shape and mold students into better leaders and learners,”

— Marcus Allen

“I believe in the ideals of [the club], and so I [thought it] would be of value to Linganore High School,” said Allen.

There are also many similar clubs nationwide like the Gentlemen’s Club, created by South Carolina elementary school teacher Raymond Nelson, which went viral in 2017. 

Linganore’s Necktie Club is geared toward teaching students how to dress for success, modeling the confidence and attitude that will get them far in life.

Club members are encouraged to pursue education beyond high school, and Allen will take students on college tours over the course of the year.

According to Michael W. Kraus, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Yale University, dressing for success is “’about you being successful and real confident in whatever you’re doing.’”

Club advisor Allen said, “You know, there’s nothing like waking up, putting on nice clothes, putting on some smell-good and coming to school.” The club members support this statement.

“It really helps you build your confidence [and] makes you feel better about yourself,” Goff said.

Member Eric Simonson agreed, “It gives you a sense of pride. It feels like people will take me more seriously.” 

The Necktie Club is a welcome addition to Linganore, teaching young men many important skills to be successful in life.

The club can be seen dressed up every other Friday on their meeting days or assisting with Linganore events. They are always accepting new members. If you are interested, email [email protected].