Mentoring youth through education blends experience and perception
By Derek Joy
Throngs of public high school students descended on the Dade County Youth Fair Grounds last week.
No. They weren’t attending the Youth Fair. It doesn’t arrive until early next year.
This time the purpose was a college fair put on by the 100 Black Men, who are organized for the express purpose of mentoring Black American youth. And this was just one of many ways in which this noble group of men of color achieves that objective.
“I brought 16 students,” said Bernadine Bush, a digital/computer teacher at Miami Beach High School.
From that starting point many others arrived.
Clyde Stephens, an assistant principal at Carol City High School, who attended the event as a member of 100 Black Men, noted his Chiefs brought along 135 students.
It was a follow up of the work he does as the CAP Advisor at Miami Northwestern High School for LarMarc Anderson, whose application for membership in the 100 Black Men is pending.
Anderson, who brought 80 students to the College Fair, has successfully sponsored a similar event for the past eight years at Miami Northwestern.
Topping the attendance chart, according to Miami Central High School Dean of Students Darryl Grice, who said “We (Miami Central) brought the most students.”
With that said and done, the multitude of institutions of higher learning presented their educational goods to the young seekers of knowledge.
It was indeed a thing of beauty. Youngsters eagerly pursuing information about institutions of higher learning instead of perpetrating crime as juvenile delinquents. And that is an accomplishment for the 100 Black Men, these colleges and universities and the students who participated.
Interestingly enough, the event was even more than that. It provided an opportunity for the local corporate world to get involved with the success of youth in the community.
The participants, you might say, gained a leg up on the college application and admission process. They also learned about the U. S. Armed Forces from members of the various branches of the U.S. Military Services.
“It was a good thing,” said Charles Wiseman, a senior at Norland High School. “I liked the selection of schools I talked to. They are good schools to attend”.
Wiseman indicated he had very good conversations with representatives of the University of Florida, Florida A&M University, Florida International University and Everest University.
There was a bit of broader perspective added by Wiseman, who, as a member of the City of Miami Gardens Junior Council, visited Washington, D. C., last month, on an annual trip taken by the Junior Council.
“No, there is no comparison between that trip and this college fair,” said Wiseman. “This is strictly about getting information to make a decision on which college you want to or will attend.
“The trip to Washington was different. From that we learned the way government can be a smooth process if there are enough supporters,” Wiseman said. “If not, it could be a long process.
“Some things in government can be improved. Some of the issues can be resolved faster if people would only look past the political affiliations of others and focus on solving problems.”
Now, there’s a mouthful of wisdom spoken by a 17-year-old high school student at a college fair sponsored by the 100 Black Men. Wisdom that seems to escape even the proponents of Presidential debates.