College Advisor to the Young Achievers Harlem Program
For nine years I was actively engaged in an all-volunteer national service program, The Young Achievers Go to School, Go to College. This is a young man’s mentoring and leadership academy collaborative of the Links Incorporated and the male organizations Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 100 Black Men, The Boulé, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. The Harlem Program of The National Young Achievers meets bi-monthly at Harlem Hospital in New York City. This all volunteer organization is staffed by adults who believe in the power of effective mentoring of youth.
The Harlem YA is a collaborative venture founded by the Metro-Manhattan Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Alpha Gamma Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Their mission is to provide college access and guidance, mentoring and scholarships to young men attending high school and who live or attend school in Manhattan and the Bronx, and to support them in their goal to matriculate and graduate from college. While the focus is with young men of color, the College Fair and application assistance workshops are open to the entire community, welcoming female students and all parents.
The Young Achievers helps attack issues challenging young African American men by arming them with effective life skills that will help them make positive transitions from grammar, middle and high school to college and beyond. Our activities include, college information nights, oratorical contests, etiquette sessions, celebrations to recognize academic success, career night, leadership sessions, a health issues forum and community service projects. This is their tenth year providing college process guidance to students of color who live and/or attend school in Harlem, and the College Fair is part of a comprehensive initiative in which college application assistance, SAT/ACT prep referral, oratorical workshops. The week long college tour and visits and all other services are provided free of charge to the students.
These organizations are a means of supporting African American male children in their drive to develop socially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally as they journey through school and on to college. The young men are taught the necessary developmental tools such as the value of discipline, establishing goals, responsibility, respect and honor to become the next generation of leaders. We will provide The Achievers with a road map to success and prepare them to become our leaders in the 21st century.