Local Foundation Celebrates African American Youth Leadership Academy Graduates – Pasadena Now

Success breeds success of its own, as was aptly demonstrated on Saturday at the annual alumni reunion of the Pasadena-based Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation, a local non-profit organization that mentors African-American high school students.

Three graduates of the foundation’s Leadership, Achievement, Management, and Professionalism (LAMP) Special Mentorship Program – London Wright, Nicholas Richards-Craven and Dylan Wilson – addressed the group’s current high school members at a private luncheon. in San Marino.

Each of the alumni came to the group with ambitious goals that each LAMB member aspires to achieve. Richards-Craven and Wright were both seeking careers in psychology while Wilson said he hoped eventually to open an exotic car dealership and eventually turn that dream into luxury housing construction.

“Today is especially important,” said current President Ramsey Jay Jr., “because it is our annual opportunity for our alumni of our program to come home over the holidays and share their learning and wisdom. . The phrase we use for this is “peer empowerment.” “

“Some of the students who went to college and entered college are coming back to talk and work with some of the new students,” Jay said.

The LAMP program prepares young African American men for the professional world, while promoting leadership, personal development, community service, political or civic engagement, and decision-making expertise, according to a LAMP release.

The annual LAMP cycle begins around August and culminates in May of the following year, as mentees meet at least once a month, usually on the third Saturday, in locations ranging from the greater Pasadena area to the Inland Empire, in high schools and colleges, museums, sports arenas, theaters and other places suitable for the presentation of LAMP subjects.

Participants are introduced to as many institutions as possible to broaden their knowledge base and open their minds to career opportunities.

The sessions provide students and their parents with the opportunity to learn about the college admission process and financial aid, as well as writing, networking, financial literacy and interview skills.

“We want to make sure,” Jay stressed, “that we are planting seeds that are clearly taking root. And then bear fruit and come back and recycle to the next generation. “

“When you see a young person who has been in our program, comes home on a Saturday when he has time to be with his family, his friends and other things, of course he gets up at eight o’clock to come. put on a suit and tie to sit in front of other young men in suits, ”Jay said.

“It tells you that there is tremendous value in what we put down, that they not only need it, but want to make sure that others who need it get it from them.”

The LAMP program is free for students and parents, and is open to school-aged African American males, in grades 9 through 12. Applicants should apply and, along with a parent or guardian, attend an orientation session that introduces them to the program.

As Jay pointed out, “These young men represent the best of the best and they are amazing in so many ways. They really are the future leaders. These are the people who are going to solve the problems that we ask ourselves, how we are going to solve them. And not only do they deserve our support, they deserve our kudos as they get the job done now. Not after they arrived.

“I think it’s important for our community as a whole,” Jay continued, “to recognize them for who they are and what they do. And watch them for leadership positions while they’re still in the community. These are young men who I think are more than worthy of our collective community investment. “

More information about LAMP is available at https://gzbfoundation.org/lamp.

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