Founded by millennial entrepreneurs Brett Manning and Leslie Herrmann, TEENS WITH CLASS has a heart for next generation talent and success.


  1. Businesses partner with Brett and Leslie and collaborate with local youth organizations to select and sponsor passionate teens to partake in the CLASS Program 

  2. Youth organizations nominate teens based on 4 criteria: (a) Character, (b) Effort, (c) Influence, (d) Enthusiasm

  3. 100 teens attend full day CLASS Program training learning leadership skills, personal development strategies, manners and etiquette

  4. Teens lead their communities, schools, homes, and activities with confidence and positively influence their peers along the way

  5. Authentic mentor/apprentice relationships are created resulting in positive, sustainable social impact




Working with high performing athletes, teams, individuals and companies in their separate business ventures BCM Performance and NextStep Elite, Brett Manning and Leslie Herrmann sense a growing need to provide impactful resources and tools earlier to people in relatable, simple terms.

It seems that there is a recurring problem on the field and in the boardroom: people are forgetting the basics, the "minor" details, the manners and communication skills that build relationships and create winning outcomes. And their coaches, teammates, bosses, and colleagues aren't happy about it. In fact, 78% of people recently reported a loss of 3-6 hours per week due to communication breakdowns and the complaints such distractions provoke. 

The more startling issue however, is that no one is immune to this rapidly growing problem. We are all in some way involved or responsible. We can no longer go a day without sending and receiving email and texts on a minute by minute clock. Depending on urgency or circumstance, our ability to filter and deliberately craft a proper message can even become difficult or clouded. 

Whether we admit it our not, the landscape of our communication and foundation of our relationships is changing. So one question persists, are we changing with it?

In the age of Google and instant gratification, people want more and they want it faster. While such knowledge and access can be beneficial, this incessant desire to move quickly and efficiently can also mean skipping the developmental details integral to relationship building and personal achievement.

We envision a world where people are approachable and knowledge is accessible, both physically and digitally.
— Leslie Herrmann, Founder


While Brett and Leslie advocate for doing more in less time and desire to maximize energy in every endeavor, they are firm believers that intentionality is the root cause of success in sport and life. Upon exploring the previously outlined problem, they have come to realize that intentionally is a learned behavior, one that gets better with practice.

The greatest need for cultivated intentionality is with our youth, the first generation to have no recollection or memory of life without cell phones. With answers available upon simply typing into a search engine or requesting assistance from a virtual robot, it becomes easy to replace and discredit the need for and role of mentorship, unless mentorship is made approachable and accessible. 

What would happen if communication, manners, branding, values and goals were practiced early in life, well before people are "expected" to know and borrow on such skills in the workplace or on the professional sports field?

What if such skills were taught and learned in a way that made them "cool" and "fun"? 

If communities invest in soft skills for teens, will teens return on the investment? 

What if a handshake and email dialog were practiced at age 17, would such skills show up better at age 27, what about 37?

Would there be fewer office blunders if passions, trades and gifts were identified and honed earlier?

Could workplace retention rates improve if people owned and outlined their values earlier in life?

Would parents sleep better knowing their children actively practice decision making skills with mentors who care and that their friends do too?

This is what TEENS WITH CLASS has set out to determine. In a thoughtful effort to connect local teens and businesses and build community mentorship pipelines, this program is intended to revert back to the basics while mastering one skill at a time. Recognizing that we live in a modernized world we believe that yes, we can do it alljust not all at once.