There are 36 programs on 26 of the 31 University System of Georgia campuses, engaging young black men in college life and focusing their sights on earning a degree. East Georgia State College is one of the newest campuses to initiate a program, thanks to the financial support of the USG AAMI initiative and community support through grants from the Nordson Corporation and the Mill Creek Foundation. The EGSC AAMI program will be active on both Swainsboro and Statesboro campuses under the direction of Ms. Deborah Kittrell-Mikell who serves as Director of Academic Advising and Mr. Antre’ Drummer who is a Math Instructor.
“One purpose of EGSC AAMI program is to cultivate an environment that empowers, inspires and motivates our African-American male students to excel academically. We have designed and now implementing an intrusive mentorship program that will provide our students with the academic attention and means needed to be successful in college,” emphasis Ms. Kittrell-Mikell, Director of AAMI Swainsboro campus. Mr. Drummer serves as EGSC Director of AAMI Statesboro campus commented, “The spirit of AAMI is to encourage, inspire, and empower these gentlemen with knowledge and make them aware of their self-worth.”
Approximately 75 young men participated in an African American Male Initiative (AAMI) workshop held at the Sudie Fulford Community Learning Center at East Georgia State College on Monday evening on September 23, 2014. The workshop itinerary included the young men providing verbal feedback on attending the Men of Color Empowerment Summit in Statesboro on Georgia Southern University’s campus. As well as engaging in conversations about the importance of maintaining a high grade point (GPA) while enrolled in college.
The highlight of the evening was the Honorarium Mr. Summers’ message of “Knowing your why”. He explained the importance of not only coming to college, but “why” it’s important to complete college. His message challenged the young men to become more conscientious of how they spend their time and “why” they are doing what they are doing. “There are eighty six thousand four hundred seconds in a day, so how are you spending your time?” Mr. Summers’ talked about the benefits of having the opportunity of attending college. Also, there were discussions of the many obstacles that exist to keep them from progressing and staying in college. “I am from a family of eight children and all of us completed college with the exception of two. Neither, my mother nor father went to college and some of you may have parents that have not attended as well, but that is not an excuse for you not to come and complete college,” said Mr. Summers. Students had the opportunity to ask questions about Mr. Summers experience in the National Football League (NFL), when he played for the Indianapolis Colts. Another and current accomplishment is Mr. Summers’ establishment of Summertime Enterprises, Inc.; where he serves as President and CEO. Summertime Enterprises is a successful logistical services and Real Estate Company. Mr. Summers left three thoughts with East Georgia State College students, “If you can look up, you can get up; What your mind believes and conceives, your body can achieve; Education and hard work equal success.”
Dr. Robert Boehmer, EGSC President provided the closing remarks by thanking Mr. Summers for his presentation and Mr. Boehmer shared his “why” with the AAMI students. He explained that his wife, daughters and the students at East Georgia State College are all included in his “why”. They are the reasons “why” he comes to work ready to serve as President of EGSC. He further explained that seeing EGSC students succeed and graduate from college is impeded into his “why”.
Mr. Michael Summers and his wife Vivian Johnson Summers are longtime friends of Ms. Deborah Kittrell-Mikell, who commented, “We are so fortunate to have the Honorarium Mr. Summers come to EGSC to speak with our AAMI students. He left a strong message and challenged them to think about “knowing why” are they here.”
“When Mr. Summers came to visit EGSC, his focus was ‘Know your Why.’ And it made me think more about myself and the AAMI program. ‘Why’ does Antre’ Drummer work with AAMI. I work with AAMI because I believe in every young man that joins this program. I believe that I can help them to develop the confidence and self-worth that they need to develop as men! Thank you, Mr. Summers for coming to speak and helping me target in on my ‘Why!”’