What a Homecoming weekend! Personally I enjoyed the time to connect with alums and to see some of the great work on the floats by many of our students. In the mix of all of this activity I was able to spend some time learning about Alpha Phi Alpha’s “Go-To-College" program. This program, established in 1922, concentrates on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement. Statistics prove the value of this extra impetus in making the difference in the success of young African-American men, given that school completion is the single best predictor of future economic success. Through the "Go-to-College" educational initiative, young men receive information and learn strategies that facilitate success, organized and facilitated by Alpha men. http://www.apa1906.net/go-to-high-school-go-to-college
Each year the men of Alpha Phi Alpha work with schools/not-for-profit agencies in the St. Louis, or last year with schools in Arkansas, to bring high school students to campus on the Saturday of Homecoming. This year Alpha Phi Alpha arranged for 27 high school students to come from the St. Louis area to spend the day on our campus. The students arrived Saturday morning in time to see the Homecoming parade, then spent time with various staff and students on campus learning about campus life. After a busy morning they had lunch in the University Center and then went off to watch the Redhawks lay the smack down on Tennessee Tech. Once the cheering from the game was complete the students were guests of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) at the Step Show held in Academic, before they gathered onto their bus and headed back North.
I wish to express both my appreciation and respect to the men of Alpha Phi Alpha for their work in hosting these students and for their commitment to paying forward the opportunity of higher education. I was able to see a little of the interaction with the students during the step show and it was clear the men of men of Alpha Phi Alpha were interested in making sure these 27 high school students knew that college was a real attainable goal for them and there were few places better to pursue their education than at Southeast.
In the best tradition of what fraternity should be, my hat is off to the men of Alpha Phi Alpha.