Black Male Initiative & Fellows Program – The University of Central Oklahoma

Black Male Initiative & Fellows Program – The University of Central Oklahoma

>>I had a whole bunch of question marks in
my head because I didn’t know what to expect.>>How to pay for college, what college am
I going to.>>It was stressful but also exciting at the
same time.>>All of us have our reasons for going to
the University of Central Oklahoma.>>I figured this is a good place for me to
be. Same thing, when I got a call for the Black Male Initiative. I thought it would
be a good thing for me to be a part of and then join.>>Research shows that only 47 percent of
African-American males are actually graduating from high school. Of those students who attend
college, only 50 percent are retained after their first year.>>Whether it’s financially, socially, economically,
and so, the Black Male Initiative and Fellows Program is designed to make sure those students
are being supported in a holistic way here at UCO.>>The University of Central Oklahoma has
the highest rate of African-American males on campus compared to other schools almost,
about 10-percent.>>We take pride in understanding what our
role is as a metropolitan university and we take pride in having those students come to
campus and have a sense of a family atmosphere to be engaged.>>We ask a lot of the students that are in
this program. They have a required Success Central course that they all take. The have
mandatory study hall hours.>>One goal in particular is to make sure
they have a 2.5 or above GPA their first year.>>For them to dress up every Friday, to attend
weekly meetings, to do weekly journals.>>We also had our first ever Black Male Summit
here at UCO we had over 300 students, high school students and college students. Who
came to UCO and we talked about all types of aspects related to black males.>>There are great incentives of being a part
of this program. If you achieve your academic and social goals here at UCO – you will be
rewarded for it, whether through tuition waivers, scholarships, job opportunities, internships.>>For me, success is an opportunity for them,
number one, be on a college campus. Two, to experience what it means to take responsibility
of being an African-American male in college – and three, to navigate the spaces and graduate
with a college degree.>>I really wasn’t involved too much in
high school until I came here it’s kind of new. It brought me out of my shell also
to get involved on campus. Another thing was grades. I had a goal to set and I reached
over the goal…”>>This semester, I believe I have at least
a 3.0.>>At the end of the day, I look and wow,
I really did this. I look, why was I able to do this and this program is one of the
main reasons why I was able to do this.>>The greatest achievement being in this
program was receiving the outstanding freshman award from the campus leadership.>>The thing about it was I was the only African-American
male. And, so if I can really just one kid get them to be involved and active we can
keep the train going and get more African-American males on the stage to get that award.>>The program kind of gave me other things
that I could actually go and achieve like.>>It kind of opened more opportunities to
my mind had me thinking about, maybe after I graduate and get my BA. Go get my Masters,
go get my PhD in forensic science.>>You have to make the program, the program
doesn’t make you.>>The program is just like a red carpet that’s
laid out for you, you can either take the road that you want to go, and on that road,
you have to find where you want to end up. ^M00:03:54:24 [ MUSIC ] ^M00:04:02:20

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