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Halifax Community College PRIDE Program inducts second class

On Nov. 17, the Preparing Men for Intellectual, Academic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring Program hosted the second annual PRIDE of Halifax Induction Ceremony at the Centre at Halifax Community College (HCC).

 

According to PRIDE Program Director Dan Lovett, the program serves 150 men, 80 of whom were inducted in the inaugural 2009 class. The 2010 induction class included 42 men. In addition, 28 men were inducted in absentia. 

 

“One important thing to remember, and that makes me proud, is that nobody thought we would have this many men come out for this program,” said HCC President, Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr., who emphasized that inductees should “keep on keeping on.” He added, “Keep on regardless of your circumstances now or in the future.”

 

HCC graduates who are PRIDE members also spoke to inductees.

 

“After high school, many people said I wouldn’t go any further past high school,” said 2009 HCC graduate James Debro. His cousin encouraged him to attend HCC. Although he was hesitant to embark on a college career, he visited the campus and decided to give it a try. “Even if things look like you’re not going to get out of it, keep trying. You never know what opportunities can come out of the blue.” Debro is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in advertising and graphic design at North Carolina Wesleyan College.

 

“PRIDE gave me a sense of pride in myself,” added 2009 HCC graduate Thomas Utley. “PRIDE means so much…When the doors are closed for you, just look within yourself.” He encouraged students to do things they love and to not set limits on themselves. “Now, I realize I can change,” said Utley. He is currently pursuing a business administration degree at Chowan University.

 

The PRIDE program is showing positive results. The program’s retention rate is 13 percent higher than the rest of campus. The graduation rate has doubled, as have the four-year transfer numbers.

 

Along with being inducted into PRIDE, several men were recognized for their scholarship, and Men of Distinction (MOD) status for many was also recognized. MOD is a special recognition component of the PRIDE of Halifax Male Mentoring program and represents the highest level of achievement for participants. The MOD is reserved for men who have demonstrated excellence in academic performance, personal growth, academic improvement and professional development.  It is also awarded for other noteworthy acts that serve the welfare of others including personal, social and community endeavors. 

Select members were also recognized as part of the Grooming Exceptional Men (GEMs) Program, which recognizes men who uphold high standards of personal and professional presentation of themselves through dress, attitude and behavior. GEMs eligibility also includes personal health, hygiene and respect for others.

Also during PRIDE Induction Week, Nov. 15-19, members participated in a “Fathers in Focus” workshop and hall dedication, as well as a male/female relations forum and fashion show in conjunction with the Women of Excellence female mentoring group. Establishing a new PRIDE tradition, Dr. Griffin presented graduates with a Rite of Passage PRIDE Bow Tie to commemorate their accomplishments and to help them remain connected to PRIDE and HCC.

         

PRIDE fosters one-on-one partnerships between students and learning coaches as well as with faculty, staff and administrators. There are two professional development components. A student development component provides opportunities for men to participate in paid, on-campus and community-based internships, college and business visits, and professional conferences. A faculty development component provides financial support and training opportunities designed to enhance teaching and learning effectiveness strategies.

 

Services include academic advising, financial aid counseling, tutorial assistance, peer/career mentoring, cultural/educational enrichment and assistance with transferring to four-year colleges and universities, among others.

 

Since 2008, HCC has been awarded $1.2 million from the Office of Secondary Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions Program federal grant to establish and manage the “Freedom to Learn Initiative” (FLI). The grant was made possible by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

FLI is an academic and student success initiative. The program, now operating under the name of the Preparing Men for Intellectual, Academic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring Program, is designed to increase academic performance, retention, graduation/transfer rates and to decrease student drop-out rates. For more details, visit http://halifaxcc.edu/flinew/.

 

On Nov. 17, the Preparing Men for Intellectual, Academic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring Program hosted the second annual PRIDE of Halifax Induction Ceremony at the Centre. Pictured are inductees along with program personnel and mentors.

 

On Nov. 17, the Preparing Men for Intellectual, Academic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring Program hosted the second annual PRIDE of Halifax Induction Ceremony at the Centre. Pictured are inductees along with program personnel and mentors.