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tv   Viewpoint  NBC  May 8, 2016 5:30am-6:00am EDT

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. good morning. welcome to "viewpoint." turning young men into leaders. that's the goal of a special program at prince george's community college. it's called "diverse male student initiatives." it combines practical skills and ideas to empower young men to become effective leaders. our guest this morning are dr. scheherazade forman, dean of student development services at prince george's community college. brian hamlin program manager and creator of the diverse male student initiatives program at prince george's and anthony adewusi, is a graduate of prince george's. he's a graduate of the university of maryland. he's now working as a loan officer. if you need money, maybe we can get
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something for you. thank you all of you for being with us this morning. dr. forman, if we can begin with you. >> yes. >> explain for us what this program is. i understand it's mentoring. what's the crux of the heart of the program? what are you doing? >> the program is desend aendde help the male students to find out more about themselves, to find out what skillsets it takes to be successful academically, socially, in their personal life, so we take a wholistic approach to wrap around services. it's not just mentoring from the point that one person speaks into their lives but we take the charge as a community. and we deposit into the young men. >> brian, you helped to create the program. >> yes. >> at prince george's. tell us about your motivation? >> my motivation, i
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educator by trade. i had about 13 years of experience in the charter school system in d.c. and when i left, i was very frustrated about seeing a lot of diverse males falling through the cracks and getting socially promoted where they really didn't have the skill sets to move on to the next grade level. when i got to prince george's and dr. charlene dukes our college president told me would you like to create an aggressive male mentoring program, it literally met me where i was. i was already frustrated and she gave me the opportunity to build a platform. >> there are many mentoring programs and minority youth in particular benefit greatly from these. you mentioned the word aggressive. >> right. >> what makes this program so much more aggressive? >> i know anthony can probably speak to that as well but my approach is very intrusive. i get to know you. there's a cliche that says people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. it's building relationships. if you don't
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them and care about them, that's why i call it aggressive, we aggressively look to get to know the young men where they are. we call it a coal to diamond process. meet you where you are and move you up. >> anthony, you were a coal and now a diamond. tell us about your experience in the program? what did it do for you? >> absolutely. well, the program itself, did a lot for me. it allowed me to grow professionally and personally. as brian mentioned his energy, he allows us to speak to our passion that we want to do and allows us to have a purpose for college. most of the colleges is just a place that we go that our parents force us to goed or we were told we were supposed to go. brian allows us to identify what our passions are, use the classes and infrastructure the colleges provide us to provide us to the next level. >> calls you one of his great success stories. do you feel that way? >> i feel i'm just getting started. the program has done a l
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mortgage industry, but it's personally, pro leshlly when i started i was raw, looking for mentorship and guidance and he came into my life when i needed him. i can say that the me you see now wasn't the me when brian first met. >> there's been a transformation. >> a transformation. >> dr. forman and mr. hamlin, how does your program take students fresh out of high school and come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences and tap into their psyche? dr. forman? >> i think what i have witnessed is brian introduces a concept to the young men and then he allows them to find their place within that concept and he meets them there and takes them to that next level. he doesn't do it alone which is a beautiful thing. he will find out what it is he needs to know and then he'll tap into resources around campus. we can all have a part in it and so we just make sure that we
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before we make a move. >> give us some more specific examples. when you -- when we talk about tapping into the psyche and really connecting with a student, getting to know that student. >> someone told me there's two things people respond to. they respond to their first nation and passion. my father's name is david and he loves tennis. i can keep his attention if i say david and refer to ten nis because that's his passion. i very quickly once i get to know them and a little bit about their background through one on ones we call them one-on-one interviews and sessions, once i find out their passion i really try to foster a relationship built upon my belief to help you get that passion. it's a judgment-free zone. too often this world makes people feel different about their background, their ethnicity. we don't bring any of that. it's not called a black and latino program. it is a diverse male population program because it represents pr
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there's no judgment, judgment-free zone. i don't care if you come in with a 1.9 or 4.0, i want to meet you where you are, respect you, i care about you and want to see you move forward. >> it's called the diverse male student initiatives at prince george's community college. we'll be back in a moment.
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welcome back. we are talking about a program this morning at prince george's community college called diverse male student initiatives, an aggressive mentoring program. i want to show you an example of what they're doing. >> going to school for four years, that's kind of a road less traveled. it's kind of odd in a way. >> it's not something that is commonly presented to young black males. we don't understand why we're in college. >> i can do better but i'm not pushing
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here. >> the plain fact is there are some americans who in the aggregate are consistently doing worse in our society. >> i can't be successful if i can't write or spell. >> how long? >> seven years. >> adam came out with what i told you some of you guys are missing, urgency. i don't have time to waste. >> i see young men across the college every day and i know some are very focused and understand who they are and what they want. i know others we have to wrap our arms around them. >> for a lot of african-americans, males that struggle, they don't always have the right people around them. >> some of you have never seen this before, never had someone in your life who wants to see you win more than you do. >> we weren't used to men on this campus holding us accountable. >> you show up to your classes but you're not giving 100% of yourself. i am get to get you when i see you. after i'm doing i'm going to embrace you like a brother and we're going to k
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seriously. >> i'm glad i came to community college first because i was honest with myself. i wasn't ready for a four year. >> these young men have persevered longer in college, their grade point averages are rising. >> the attendance rate is 40% higher than the average student. >> my whole inner being, soul, body, associate degree now, back to the grind and get my bachelor's. >> stay committed to the journey. i guarantee you'll become a better man, son, father, whatever your goals are. >> diverse male student initiatives, now that's a 60-minute documentary that was produced at the college. you did this over the course of a year? >> yes. 2013/14 cohort. >> there is heavy stuff going on in those classes. >> uh-huh. you saw clips that were in the documentary. we had the weekly workshop called gathering of
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them on tuesdays and wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to -- i'm sorry 1:00 p.m. to about 3:00 p.m. we start the year off talking about goal setting, self-identity, vision, work ethic and then we build them all the way up to the end of the year we're talking about internships and graduation packets and seeking scholarships and graduation. >> anthony, i saw you in there. >> it was an experience, something i can't really put into words. it was something that seeing all the men come together for one common cause it with was great because we're all a group of individuals, we all have our own passions and destinies we have to follow but at the same time we get to lift each other up and seeing each other and being next to each other every day lets you know you're not alone. that's what most of us have lacked the sense of family that you gained. >> dr. forman, we were talking during the commercial break how identifying with the young men and treating them with respect. >> yes. >> when they first come into the
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over. >> yes. the young men come in with, as we all do, with issues from our lives, our lens is different based on what it is we have experienced, and so the fact that we accept them for who they are, where they've been, and introduce another way, introduce options, has been tremendous. so we don't demean them or negate what they have experienced. we believe that what they have experienced brings value to the situation and so we use that to be able to identify that we're going to start here. we're going to start right here, what you've brought, what we have to offer, we're going to start here. so we can respect the space, we can respect the individual. >> mr. hamlin, you talked a few minutes ago about using first names. tell us why that's so important? >> i think it's a value.
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of diverse populations, unfortunately are made to feel undervalued. when i look you directly in your face, it was interesting when i got to campus the young men were so used to not being approached by anyone that when i first got on campus, i would introduce myself and say how are you doing, i'm brian, mr. hamlin, they would look at the ground, because of insecurity of not trusting who was this guy, what does he want from me. i spent a lot of time, maybe even a year, building a relationship, making them feel valued. i remember your name, i know who you are, come see me and talk to me. these guys, i had to kind of break down the defenses to let them know i can be trusted, i have your best interests as my number one focus. let's work on building that relationship. >> all right. got to another another break an we'll continue our talk in just a minute. there's moving... and there's moving with move free ultra. it has triple-action support for your joints, cartilage and bones.
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initiatives program at prince george's community college. mr. hamlin, when you identify, when a young man comes and says i have a dream, i want to be this, i want to be that, i want to do this, do that, how does he take that dream and turn it into a reality using your program? >> well, the first part is i love dream chasers. i love someone that walks around -- too many of us have put our dreams on the shelves. working with the college environment you get them at the birth place of their dreams. i say why. what's the motivation? why do you want to do these things? because i want to know how well thought out some of these concepts are and do you really know what you want. if they can effectively tell me that, we start to do two things, make sure they are plugged in to our workshops but really the one on ones, we have a personal academic adviser that's plugged in, if you're in the program it's an advisers to have one on one opportunities and conversations to get into g
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go on-line, let's find out who are the people that are in that industry, where do they go to school, what is their major and we reverse engineer out of it and have them follow that game plan. >> dr. forman, that's pretty important for a population of students who -- students used to being dismissed and feeling that there is no rung on the ladder of their lives? >> it is very important. it is -- it's very significant for them to feel that they are being heard and when they are heard, that there's an action that will take place. so often they're dismissed or they may be talked out of something and we have made a conscious effort to be sure to listen. that's a very important trait when we're working with students across the board. we have to listen. >> anthony, what did you want to be? >> initially i actually wanted to work in sports. i wed
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office. that's something i wanted to do. take my passion for sports and natural gift of numbers and combine them. i thought being a sports executive would kind of be my direction. now i've had the opportunity to use my gift of numbers to work and hopefully that will help me gain professional experience at this time. >> when you got to prince george's, you went to prince george's and also went to the university of maryland. >> yes. >> you're a young man in the video, he was glad he went to community college first. was that your experience? did it prepare you for the university of maryland? >> absolutely. it did. maryland is a big school. you can kind of get lost in the numbers and undergraduates, probably about 30,000 undergraduates at the university of maryland. community college gave me the confidence to allow me to understand who i am as a person and what my goals were. once i got to the university of maryland it was
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i felt myself coming back and touching base with the program. going there first gave me the initial steps to get me to the next level. >> mr. hamlin, we're seeing record numbers of high school students, minority students, going to college which is laudable, but when they get to college, keeping them in school and then finishing the graduation is where many go off the rails. talk about that issue and what do the numbers look like for you? >> our numbers are great. and the funny thing it's not rocket science. i think all college students come in, despite their ethnicity, the independent nature of college, the lack of accountability like you don't have your parents wagging their finger or knocking on your door about your homework. i suffered maybe a semester or two where i floated around campus went to south carolina state university and graduated in '94 to '98, but again, i think with dmsi and prince george's because it is a junior college, two-year institution, dmsi we will wrap ourselves around them, that
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on campus. we're going to guide them. again, relationship building. trust us. we know where you're trying to go, let us help you get there. but in terms of dmsi numbers we're talking about record increases in terms of our retention rates, graduation rates, and it's only going to get better as the program scales up and we begin to impact more lives and more funds come into the program, our goal is to touch, you know, we've touched over 415 men since 2009. and i know the college president is looking to double those numbers. >> yes. >> so honestly my thing is before we start to expand, we just want to master what we're doing and then move on to being able to transform and touch more lives. >> we will be right back after this. stay with us.
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orrow, tomorrow i love ya, tomorrow.♪ ask your heart doctor about entresto. and help make tomorrow possible. ♪ you're only a day away ♪ welcome back. dr. forman, this is a two-year program, correct? >> yes, it is. yes, it is. the students come in that first year. they
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what it's going to take to meet those goals, and then that second year we delve into more about their career, readiness, internships. they create a portfolio. yes. >> and mr. hamlin, you said that academics is only part of this program. >> right. >> that's only part of what you're teaching . >> yes. the big part is development. your approach to personal growth as a man, a man of color, your leadership ability, your ability to communicate, your personal confidence, is really hand in hand with academic achievement. even with academic achievement it's a successful mindset you're trying to develop. when you leave school those transferable skills and habits can be taken to a professional environment, to anywhere. your own business. because now you have a mindset of success. if you have no character behind that, you're really not going to be able to ignite it to make it manifest anything iou
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way your character grew in this mentoring program. >> personally i struggled with self-confidence. that was one of the things when i actually met him, he noticed that. why don't you stand tall and speak. i was timid. >> speak up. >> speak up. i tried to play the background and i mentioned that to him. he said you have to acknowledge and embrace who you are and what you want to do and part of that was lack of passion formica rear and what i wanted to do. i didn't know where i wanted to go. i was kind of lost. it allowed me to play the background and stay in my comfort zone. as you see i'm able to speak and talk about my growth and led me to personal growth and development? dr. forman, this program you've done at the community college level obviously has helped many students who are performing better when they go on beyond community college. but for students who, you know, maybe first time, you kn
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college students and their families and they go to big institutions, can they succeed if they don't have someone wrapping their arms around them? >> in my opinion, success is tied to having someone you can connect with. it's important for you to be able to have that person that is listening, that's not judging you, that respects what it is that you're saying, what it is that you would like to do, and then to help you navigate. we all need someone to help us to navigate. we need someone to wrap their arms around us, to embrace us, and so these wrap-around services that we're able to provide to the men at prince george's community college, it's working. >> do you do the same thing for girls? >> we do. there's a program at the college that's started about a year after called women of wisdom and it's an awesome team of professional women that work at the institution that some of the concepts were built on some of the principles of
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diverse male student initiative but it has its own uniqueness and doing well. >> anthony, what's your advice to a young man who is like you who is a 3.5 grade point average student, who is not interested in school? >> my advice would be to be find his passion first and connect with somebody and get help and what do you do in your spare time and what do you consider a hobby, what is something you would do, something that you would be so excited about. find a way to connect that to school and the programs that help you develop that. >> we're glad you found that program. congratulations to you. i was serious about the loan. dr. forman, mr. hamlin, and anthony, thank you all so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. that's "viewpoint." i'm pat lawson muse. have a great sunday. stay with us.
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