Deltas Empower Young Black Males and Leave Parents in Awe

Pictured is Jacksonville Alumni Chapter members Monica Hopson engaging students and parents in an activity that encouraged positive interaction, self-confidence, character development, connectedness and family bonding.

Members of the Jacksonville Alumnae Chapter (JAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. do many things very well. Amongst their skillset is mentoring, supporting, encouraging and empowering young people. Dubbed EMBODI, the program stands for Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence, is a youth outreach program created by the governing body of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Its purpose is to intervene in the lives of school-aged African American males to promote and improve their quality of life through a comprehensive approach aimed at developing their overall potential.

Members of the JAC have been active in the EMBODI program for the past five years. They recently held an orientation and kickoff event for participants and parents that started off the program year, which runs from September through May.

Program chair, Mebraht Gebre-Michael, provided an overview reviewed the curriculum framework and shared leadership opportunities with the young men in addition to informing attendees of the roles and responsibilities of both participants and parents.

Participants also engaged in a structured debateon four topics including single gender classrooms, violence in the media and its influence in real life, the role of sports and academics and even the criminal justice system.

One parent stated, “I am so impressed at how well my son spoke about topics that I never thought to expose him to.” Another stated that she was in awe and was very ecstatic about what the program year has in store for her boys. One male parent commended the women of Delta Sigma Theta for leading the EMBODI program and efforts in educating young African American males on topics that cannot be learned or taught in the school system. “It’s a step in the right direction, and I’ll be sure to recruit more young men that can benefit from EMBODI.”

The EMBODI program is for young men between the ages of 11 and 18. The program meets on a monthly basis and structures its program days on topics like business etiquette and professional presence, college readiness, physical and mental health, community service, and more. To learn more visit www.dstjax.org.

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