St. Louis Community College (STLCC) at Forest Park in St. Louis is addressing the need to build a bridge of confidence in the classroom through the Black Male Achievers Academy (BMAA), which is still recruiting 100 Black Males to support.
The program is targeted to assist Black men who are attending college for the first time in the fall, according to The St. Louis American. The BMAA is designed to improve recruitment and retention of African American students. According to the article, the BMAA will be held from June 21-July 30 on the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and STLCC-Forest Park campuses.
A social science and reading class, preparation for upcoming English and math courses, and other discussions will be held. Participation benefits include receiving three credit hours and a STLCC academic scholarship of up to $3,000 for two-academic years.
Education Week once reported that young Black men who attend and graduate from colleges in the United States have the lowest test scores in both K-12 education as well as college. For these reasons, improving academic confidence, support, and motivation can prove vital for them to become successful. A program like BMAA may provide beneficial tools for young Black males who need a solid, positive reference point.
“I grew up in North St. Louis surrounded by the complexities of an urban environment. Survival was always a challenge. I lost so many childhood friends at a young age to gun violence, and it was a hard pill to swallow. It’s hard to look to the future when you are seeing things like this daily in your community,” Chester Henderson, an STLCC continuing education program information and enrollment assistant told the St. Louis American “As a first-time student, I needed help understanding and navigating the process of being a student. I wanted to know how to be successful.”
Black male high school graduates who have not yet begun college must possess a 1.5-3.0 grade point average to apply for the BMAA program. A recommendation letter written by their high school counselor or a teacher must also be emailed to Franklyn Taylor, vice president for student affairs at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Taylor’s work phone number is (314) 644-9212.
The Atlantic once reported about the importance of youth establishing lasting relationships and mentors in high school, leading into college. Additionally, the America’s Promise Alliance pointed out that youth from disadvantaged backgrounds face more challenges than a middle-class youth who may grow up having access to supportive coaches, tutors, or mentors.