Generally speaking, from the gender perspective, the student population on many college campuses is heavily weighted by females. Studies show, particularly at the community college level, that special mentoring programs can boost enrollment and success rates among male students. To that end, Pamlico Community College applied for and received a grant from the North Carolina Community College System for a new initiative, MEBCO, Men Eliminating Barriers & Creating Opportunities.
Daniel Lovitt, Special Assistant to the President of Halifax Community College was the keynote speaker for the Kick-Off Program. He managed a mentoring program on a much larger scale at that institution. Halifax Community College subsequently realized a much higher graduation rate among males.
Antonio Brown, left, chatted with Dr. Lovitt just prior to the keynote address.
MEBCO will help male students make educational, career, and personal decisions to improve their chances for success. A special effort will be made to encourage participants from traditionally underprivileged backgrounds to excel academically, a factor that will boost self esteem. The desired outcome will be to reduce gaps among males in educational attainment.
Arfegus “AJ” Joyner, a student from Bayboro, made significant observations after the kick off program.
“To me, this is like a family of brothers that can help one another. I felt like I received positive confirmation that I can deal with my future plans, for me and for my family. I believe this support system will last more than today. It’s something that will be here tomorrow. I think I will be able to stay focused and that somebody will be here for me when I get depressed. This is not a college fraternity, I think it’s going to be a family for life.
Keith Sampson will coordinate the mentoring efforts on the PCC campus. He will work with students, faculty members, and key personnel in the Student Services office.
Psychology instructor Kasey Melvin used a little group psychology to create an initial interaction among participants of the MEBCO program. After a special game of Bingo that forced participants to engage one another and learn interesting facts about each other, the ice was broken.