Rutgers University–Camden alumni will lead a panel discussion for male undergraduates highlighting the challenges, national dilemma, and expectations that they face after graduation.
The forum, titled “Male Empowerment: Brother to Brother,” will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the South ABC Conference Room, located on the lower level of the Campus Center.
The alumni will share their stories, struggles, triumphs, and how they were able to persist and graduate. Leading the discussion will be recent graduates Argenis Bernard, Boris Bogdonavic, Akeem Lloyd, Thomas Martin, and Daniel Moore.
“The overarching message is ‘If we made it, so can you!’” says Pam Clark, director of TRiO Student Support Services at Rutgers–Camden. “Given the national dilemma regarding the low-retention and graduation rates of minority males, it is important for our undergraduate students to see examples and hear success stories of those who defied the odds. They need to hear real talk about the challenges one can face in pursuit of an undergraduate degree.”
Clark notes that, whether students are struggling in school or not, all students, especially minority males, can benefit from hearing success stories from those who look like them and have been where they are. She hopes that, ultimately, mentoring opportunities will ensue between panelists and guests.
Hosted by TRiO Student Support Services, the forum is part of a series of ongoing events aimed to empower male and female undergraduate students. A similar event, “TriO SSS Women in the Spotlight,” was held on March 14 as part of the Women’s History Month celebration.
Two TRiO seniors at Rutgers–Camden and a recent alumna shared the extraordinary activities and amazing opportunities that they had taken advantage of during their undergraduate experience. Salima Mostafa, a recent graduate, spoke about her experiences serving as a White House intern in fall 2013, You You Jiang detailed her semester studying abroad in Spain, and Ofure Oboh talked about participating last year in a service learning project, titled “Health and Healing in Guatemala.”
“All of these women were engaged in other co-curricular activities and have achieved great success both academically and socially,” says Clark.
TRiO has plans to host a male empowerment series in the fall featuring three related sessions.