Having a committed mentor or role model is an important part of successful growth and development for a young adult.
To promote this ideal, My Brother’s Keeper – The Successful M.A.L.E Initiative will hold its inaugural M.A.L.E. Leadership Breakfast Thursday (April 27) at 9:30 a.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.
David M. Fryson, a vice president of West Virginia University and head of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion believes that programs like the Initiative, which supports WVU men of color, go a long way toward this.
“It’s important for these young men to have role models who are successful and look like them,” Fryson said. “More importantly, it’s important to have role models of various professions and walks of life, so that the young men in the group can learn that success is uniquely defined from person to person.”
The breakfast will feature a keynote address from Ed Gainey, a state representative from Pennsylvania, and an oratorical presentation from local college men of color: Isaiah Keys, Aaron Goodson and Dr. Samuel Lopez. The oratorical presentation provides a platform for these men to share their personal narratives and their plight as men of color in higher education, and discuss the strategies which allowed them to develop, grow and embrace success.
These men have some unique life experiences and motivational remarks to share with their peers and community members about their journey to achieving success in leadership, education, personal and social development, extracurricular involvement and goal setting for the future.
“The breakfast is pretty crucial,” said M.A.L.E peer-leader, Ryan Payan, “because this is the final time that us senior leaders, who have been around since day one, will be able to recruit the younger students.”
The goal of the breakfast is to introduce the initiative and its participants to the public, and to raise awareness of the initiative, where student and professional mentors work year-round to create programming geared towards mentoring, networking, professional and personal development and social bonding. The mentors have planned empowerment sessions focused on academic preparedness, time management, interviewing strategies, giving presentations and more. Recreational events would include trips to the movies or their annual Super bowl party.
Designed for men of color, but open to all, the M.A.L.E Initiative hopes to bring out new faces on Thursday to network, socialize, and hear from the guest speakers.
The event is free and open to the public, but does have a 100-guest maximum capacity. RSVP at https://urwvu.wufoo.com/forms/male-leadership-breakfast-rsvp/.
My Brother’s Keeper Initiative—the Successful M.A.L.E. Initiative is a support initiative for WVU men of color. Once a month, the M.A.L.E. members and facilitators gather together on campus to discuss a variety of topics. A major objective of the Successful M.A.L.E. Initiative is to empower each other to be better men of excellence who are scholarly in academic endeavors, and professional in all manners in life.
E. Mitchell II, Founder and Volunteer Project Director of the Successful
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