THE ALPHA ACHIEVERS
Targeting African-American males in grades 9 – 12, the Alpha Achievers is an educational program of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Howard County Chapter. Operating in all twelve Howard County high schools, the program fosters a positive learning environment in order to facilitate students’ pursuit of excellence by attaining, maintaining and exceeding a 3.0 grade point average, the minimum required for membership. The program also seeks to encourage and motivate those students who have less than a 3.0 grade point average to strive toward it. In existence since 1997, when only 18 young men met the minimum grade point average of 3.0, the program also seeks to promote character growth, develop leadership skills and encourage its members to become full citizens of the school and the community.
Current membership includes over 370 members (this is not a hard number as each quarter new members are added and each year members graduate) supported by 12 school-based teacher-advisors and 12 members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. These young men also deliver over 7770 hours of community service each school year. Recognizing that success in school is the academic foundation for success in all aspects of adult life – marriage, family, employment, citizenship – the Columbia Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha created the Alpha Achievers program to repel these negative influences and to create an atmosphere for young men to bond physically, emotionally and spiritually with other young men with similar academic goals.
They are mentored, counseled and encouraged by their teacher-advisors on a day-to-day basis, underscoring the importance of having such a person readily accessible to the young men. The assigned Alpha man gets to personally know the young men; attending and, occasionally, speaking at their meetings, and also helping the teacher-advisor plan Alpha Phi Alpha- sponsored field trips. The Alpha advisor, as well as other members of the fraternity, go on the field trips as chaperones and extended mentors.
Check out the AlphaAchievers website at alphaachievers.org and on Twitter at @alphaachievers1