PASADENA - On Saturday, Saint Patrick’s Day, in spite of the pouring rain and the televising of March Madness (college basketball’s annual championship event), John Muir High’s MPYD Program along with Alpha Phi Alpha sponsored a mentoring mixer with about 30 young mentees showing up for this event. All total there were at least 50 males gathered at this event including Mentors, staff and Frat members.
John Muir High counselor, Dr. Ben Aroyan attended and stated, “It was a great turnout despite the weather conditions.”
The men introduced their organization, gave their backgrounds, and examples of what it can look like to succeed as minorities in our society. The students were challenged with group activities to teach them teamwork and how to work together as a microcosm of what it takes to succeed.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity men are well educated and earn competitive incomes while maintaining positions of influence and respect within the larger community. This organization expands to over 175,000 initiated members. Their ranks of membership has grown to include a plethora of prominent and accomplished activists, educators, politicians, businessmen, philanthropists, entertainers and athletes, according to their website. Alpha Phi Alpha's membership is predominantly African American; however the Fraternity has been interracial since 1945.
These are the sorts of examples young males need to see in order to paint a brighter future of career possibilities. If they can see other males that look like them and that come from the same general cultural, economic background and communities as them, certainly that lets them know that success is possible in spite of what they see as their current circumstances.
It is always nice to see the greater community come out and support these young males as such. It would be even nicer if such organizations would be prepared to make long lasting commitments to getting into the trenches with these youth and making themselves available for extra help, support and guidance when called upon.
Even though the Frat members offered to make themselves available to these young males for mentorship, the desire will need to come from the boys, otherwise it will be just another missed opportunity.
The bottom line is that we need to always make the opportunities available and not worry as much about who does, or does not take advantage of the open doors. It is better to have too much on the table than none at all!
Kudos to all the males that showed up for this event in spite of the circumstances: Only time will tell how many lives will be touched by such an outpouring of generosity.