Saturday, October 11, 2008

For Young African American Males the Sun Is Up on Project Still I Rise

"Empowering today's youth for academic and social opportunities through mentoring and leadership development."

Project Manhood Leadership Institute targets young African American Male Students.

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Saturday is not a school day, but don't try telling the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade boys I met this morning.

Three Saturdays a month they gather from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cedar Valley College for classes ranging from reading, writing and math to chess, self-confidence building and manhood.

These Dallas ISD students voluntarily participate in Project Still I Rise, a leadership institute to prepare young males for high school and post-secondary educational opportunties. In addition to academics, youth learn career-building and life skills, effective communication and philanthropy.

Project Still I Rise embraces the core values of collaboration, compassion, servant leadership and stewardship.

Did I mention? It's FREE!

Introduced last Spring to this program for young males, I was pleased to help open the door to this important collaboration.

Now in partnership with Dallas County Community College District and The University of Texas at Dallas, Project Still I Rise is stretching. In a few months, even more young men will benefit when this same Saturday opportunity will be offered at Eastfield College.

Kevin L. Mondy,President and Founder, along with Project teachers, tutors, counselors and advisors hosted the Open House breakfast for community and lunch for parents.

Guests included Dallas ISD staff, college and university reps, AKA sorority members, NAACP president, local business owners, UNCF staff, project advisory board and community boosters.

Following an orientation about the vision, curriculum and activities, everyone was invited to visit classes.

It is an impressive mentorship program.

It's brightly clear-- this outstanding project and young males have opportunity to rise AND shine.

"Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise
I rise
I rise."

Maya Angelou