LANCASTER—The Project MALE student success program launched its 2016-17 year with an opening session from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. October 8 at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, 7550 Hampton Road.
Parents and students were invited to the free program, which featuring Jabari Johnson, a retired pro athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has established several successful companies in the real estate, business development and sports marketing industries. He is also the visionary founder of The Heads Up! Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of youth through mentoring, education, and sports.
Established in 2014, Project MALE (Making Aspiring Leaders Excel) is a collaborative effort of various organizations in Southern Dallas County united to create a student success program for African-American males in the kindergarten through fifth grade levels (ages 5-11). One of the main goals of Project MALE is to promote college readiness among African American male students and completion rates when they are in college. Generally speaking, less than 50 percent of African American males complete college.
The Dallas Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority became a sponsor of the organization in response to its national EMBODI program initiative. EMBODI stands for Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence and is designed to address issues related to education, culture, self-efficacy, leadership, among others. Other sponsors and participants have included Cedar Valley College, Lancaster ISD, AT&T, Comerica Bank, Concord Church, DART, and Inspiring Body of Christ Church.
During the 2015-2016 year, the curriculum included activities to engage students in solving real-life problems. This year, students will have the opportunity to earn incentive points that they can trade for items they want or will enjoy. This year’s program will also include, but is not limited to, the following: monthly sessions for students and parents (2-3 hours), field trips, a career fair, presentations by African- American professionals, college visits, a summer reading program, and opportunities to enroll in free summer camps.
“This is a community effort that aligns and connects with President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program,” said Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, former president of CVC, who has been involved with Project MALE since its inception. “We are grateful to all of our sponsors and participants who provide their time and resources to make Project MALE a success. They recognize the need to prepare young African American males for success in school, college and beyond.”
For more information on Project MALE, please call (972) 860- 8027 or visit projectmaleprogram.net.