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AAMPED, local Alphas, help young men prepare for the future

DeWayne Hall with State Employees Credit Union. leads a workshop on financial literacy and budgeting during the AAMPED Leadership Camp.

AAMPED, local Alphas, help young men  prepare for the future
August 04
10:50 2022

For some the transition from middle school to high school can be a challenge. With a new school, teachers, and classmates, on top of a new schedule and responsibilities, it’s easy to see why. To help ease that transition, last week Crosby Scholars’ AAMPED (African-American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams) program partnered with the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Alpha Pi Lambda Chapter) to host a week-long leadership camp for young men who will be headed to high school this fall.

Nathaniel Barber, a member of the Alpha Pi Lambda Chapter, said one of the main pillars of the fraternity is community service, so when their brother Richard Watts, coordinator for the AAMPED program, reached out, it was a no-brainer. 

“One of the main things that we do is community service and this is our way of reaching into the community to try to help these young men as they come to high school,” he said. “Even though I’m retired, I try to give back because there’s still young people who can benefit from what you can share with them.”

Throughout the week while learning about the ins and outs of high school, participants also got a taste of what a high school classroom will be like. Each day there was time set aside for math, reading, or science. 

There were also several guest speakers throughout the week that focused on different topics such as: financial literacy, college access, leadership, and several other topics. Some of the guests throughout the week included Attorney Harold Eustache, Fred Evans, Dr. Louis Finney, Ron Davis, DeWayne Hall, and Senator Paul Lowe. 

Barber, who was an educator for more than 40 years, said he enjoyed spending time with the young men throughout the week. He also mentioned how receptive the young men were to new information. 

“I’ve noticed these young men seem to really trust what the adults are trying to say and they’re willing to ask questions. It’s always a good thing when young people are asking questions because that means they want to know more.” 

When discussing the camp, Jaleel Smith, who will be attending Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy next school year, said he feels confident that the camp has prepared him for high school and college as well.  

“If I wasn’t here right now, I wouldn’t be learning about college access, college housing and everything I need to know to be prepared,” Smith said. 

Quincy Jones, who will be attending Parkland High School in the fall, said what he enjoyed most about the camp was the robotics activity they did earlier in the week. Jones admitted at first he didn’t want to attend the camp when his mother first told him about it, but he’s glad he did. 

“At first I didn’t really want to come because I was already at another camp, but my mom made me do it. Then the first day here I really liked it,” Jones continued. “I really liked the robotics because it’s my dream to become an engineer.” 

Crosby’s AAMPED started in 2016 to address negative stereotypes and help young African American men in our community continue their education after high school. The program is open to middle and high school students who are current members of Crosby Scholars. For more information, visit www.crosbyscholars.org or call 336-725-5371.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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