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Lights Of Alpha (LOA) Male Mentoring Program
Prepared for: Delta Epsilon Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Prepared by: LOA Committee
October 10, 2021
The Delta Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has been making a difference as servant leaders of the Metro East St. Louis community since 1947. The Lights of Alpha (LOA) Male Mentoring program was founded in October of 2000 by Brothers Robert Jones, Jeremy L. Harmon and Teron Bowman. Since its inception, there have been hundreds of young men who have benefited from the LOA program. This program is done in partnership with the Metro East St Louis Community Initiative.
The LOA program outline aims to mentor young men ages 11-14 years of age. Additionally, the young men are monitored and tracked as they matriculate through High School. The students are engaged in various aspects of Mentorship, including but not limited to:
Due to the COVID pandemic and preventative safety measures, the 2022 LOA program was modified to allow flexibility and maximize student participation. The program was conducted virtually and the scheduled 3rd Saturday of the month sessions adjusted to align with Mason-Clark Middle school administration requirements. The program will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines for a successful and healthy program execution.
The LOA program encourages male youth to be self-reliant and leverage the community as a tool for continuous personal growth and development. The monthly meeting sessions are currently conducted virtually via Zoom; however, the program will resume in-person sessions as the CDC guidelines and school administration feel appropriate. The monthly sessions last 1.5 hours - includes group introductions, music engagement interludes, empowering topics, and action-oriented tips and next steps.
The student participants are also encouraged and engaged outside of monthly sessions throughout the month as well. The LOA program invests time and resources into the students participants for meals, computer equipment, travel, stipends, and participation gifts.
The LOA seven-point program objectives focus on the following:
Emotional – develop positive self-esteem and strategies to manage anger and learn how to resolve conflict.
Physical – review the importance of sexual responsibility and liability, understanding the importance of health care, hygiene, nutrition and engage in physical fitness.
Mental – learn how to study, organize and take tests; engage in enrichment or remediation activity development.
Spiritual – recognize the relationship between the Creator and self, understanding that spirituality is the root of African people, recognize that death is part of the life cycle.
Social – develop interpersonal skills and the importance of building positive male/female relationships.
Political – understanding juvenile and governmental law, complete a community service project for community building that stresses voter awareness/participation.
Economic – learn how to budget, invest and save money and develop entrepreneurial skills.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, 18.3 million children, 1 in 4, live without a biological, step, or adoptive father in the home. Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today. Studies have shown that when a child is raised without a father present, he or she is affected in the following ways:
Approximately 41% of the youth in East St Louis, IL reside in single mother homes. East St Louis residents disproportionately suffer from outcomes listed above. It is not uncommon to see young boys in plain view demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills through illegal drug transactions and weapon sales. In addition, it is not uncommon to see young boys engage in malicious acts of violence to include robbery at gunpoint, burning buildings, shootings, bullying, and the like.
Funding will enable the Lights of Alpha Male Youth Mentoring Program to address these problems and give these young male students the necessary tools (physical, emotional, spiritual and financial) that will lead to access and opportunity for them to succeed.
PROGRAM IMPACT STATEMENT (HISTORICAL DATA)
Over the last 20 years we have invested roughly $600,000 in scholarships, Leadership Development Institution events, Educational outings, educational activities, equipment, materials and meals.
Those participants have developed into college alums, members of the Fraternity and productive citizens within their communities.