I want to pass along a thank you to Xi Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha (a fellow chapter founded at Cornell, like my home chapter of Delta Chi) for their work with the "Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College" program. This program was established in 1922 and focuses on the critical role that education; in particular higher education plays in a person’s long term success.
Derrion Henderson shared the following details with me about why he and his chapter participates in this program. “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-High-School, Go-to-College educational initiative, young men receive information and learn strategies that facilitate success. Alpha men provide youth participants with excellent role models to emulate.”
The Xi Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. hosted this program during the University’s Homecoming weekend to take advantage of the many events that occur across campus. The chapter partnered with College Bound and identified 10 African American male students from the St. Louis region to bring to campus. The chapter managed all aspects of the students visiting, including meals, seminars about getting accepted into college, living on campus, Greek life and student life, and the overall college academic experience.
Derrion shared with me that he, “had an amazing time with the students as we laughed, joked, and watched the football game. Afterwards we headed to the NPHC Stepshow where the students got to see and feel of how it was to be part of Greek life. Students saw us stroll and step and really enjoyed the show.”
Listed below are some of the comments the men of Alpha Phi Alpha received for their work with these students.
Kimyatta Smith, College Bound shared, “We want to tell you how much our boys enjoyed the Go to School Go to College event last Saturday. Several College Bound students texted me after the trip telling me they wanted to attend SEMO next Fall and possibly one day become Alpha men! As a SEMO alumna , I am overjoyed when students are able to see the hidden gem that is Southeast Missouri State University! Also, I cannot speak highly enough of the Xi Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.”
In addition some of the students shared with the College Bound staff their thoughts on the visit to campus.
• I really enjoyed going to SEMO. The step show was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from the guys there. They also took care of us and tried to keep feeding us even though we were already full.
• I was surprised that I had as much fun as I had. SEMO was great and I really want to check it out next year. I learned a lot on the tour and it was cool hanging out with the Alphas.
• I wanted to go to SEMO before going on the trip but now I know what kind of student I want to be at SEMO. I enjoyed learning about the different things the Alphas do and I really enjoyed the step show. It was so fun
• I didn’t know anything about fraternities before going on the trip. Now I hope to be part of one. It was great to learn how the Alphas help members be successful students and contributing members of campus. I also loved seeing the level of community at the step show. I had no idea that SEMO would be like that.
Greek Life often finds its self showcased of an example as what is “wrong with college students.” While we can’t force people to change their views, we can provide examples of what it means to be a fraternity man and the men of Xi Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity provided a great example on Homecoming weekend of what is so very right about Greek Life. I want to thank the gentlemen of Alpha Phi Alpha for your work with these future college students.