Murry Bergtraum Young Men’s Honors Academy

A serendipitous moment occurred when I met with Murry Bergtraum High School’s newest Learning Leaders Volunteer Karen Smul and the school’s college advisor Dr. Carolyn Powell to get Karen started as a volunteer.

Karen and I were pleasantly greeted by the eleven young men who are a part of Dr. Powell’s newly established Young Men’s Honors Academy on the first day they attended school wearing their uniforms. Karen, a professional photographer happened to bring her camera to the meeting, and was able to snap this wonderful photo of the young men.

I asked Dr. Powell to describe this special program she has created for these young men and here is what she wrote:

As we all know, there is an extreme need to have a male initiative that targets African American and Latino American for college before we lose them.  I recruited twelve young men, five sophomores and seven juniors for this program who all had b+ averages or better.  The focus is rigorous course work, mentoring, and preparation for college.  You should know that their parents agreed that they all should be in uniform, which was non-negotiable.

These students are mentored by twelve men and women from Deloitte Consulting who work with our students on essay writing, financial aid, the college application process, professional etiquette, interview skills, resume development, etc.  All students will be taking AP and Syracuse University courses, which will strengthen their transcripts and hopefully position them to have a wider choice selection for college. In addition, these students will take several college/university tours; they will also be meeting other men who are influential in the fields of business and education who can be their role models.  We have just come back from Syracuse University on tour and will be headed to New England at a later date to look at several other schools.

All of the juniors will be headed off to pre-college summer programs at Syracuse University and at the University of Rochester this summer.  My promise to them, and their parents, is that all rising seniors will enter a four year college or university at the end of their senior year.

I look forward to hearing about the successes of these young men, Dr. Powell, thank you for all of your hard work!

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