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shield.gif (11437 bytes) Durham (NC) Alumni
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc

Training for Leadership Since 1921

Young Black Achievers

Durham Alumni Chapter is in the fourth consecutive year of its standing Guiderights Project at R. N. Harris Middle School. With the permission and assistance of Mrs. Leathers, the school Guidance counselor, we have organized a well-rounded program for the schools fourth and fifth grade boys that attempts to instill in them the same high ideals we strive for in Kappa Alpha Psi.

The program meets once a week for two hours each Thursday of the academic year. Any and all fourth grade and fifth grade males that wish to attend are welcome. We only ask that if you commit to come, that you be consistent. We stress that the young men participating, work together as a group and that is only possible if we have a set group participating.

Each week the Brothers focus on helping the young men improve not only their grades, but also their social awareness and their physical and spiritual bodies. We always begin with stretches, running ‘suicides,’ jumping jacks and various other exercises. We are currently working on military drills and formations, which teaches them to focus, teamwork and cooperation and the importance of precision. Regularly we have competitions where the young men verbally answer multiplication or division problems or spell words. At the end of such competitions the winner(s) are rewarded with tapes or CDs or T-shirts or other prizes from our supporters at WNCU or gifts that brothers bring in. And we also regularly sit down with the men and teach the cultural history lessons or basic life lessons. For example, one week we discussed what’s in a newspaper or how to use it to obtain important information. On another week we discussed career opportunities and how to decide what occupation might be right for you. That meeting was followed up with a talk about finances, and budgeting your money. On another week, we discussed Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the numerous other leaders and contributors to the Civil Rights Movement.

We also have guests come and talk with the young men. A state trooper visited one week and discussed drug awareness and the importance of staying away from drugs. And an attorney and former judge is slated to come one week and discuss various other pit falls other than drugs that young Black men constantly face and how to avoid them.

But excelling and achieving is not always hard work. So we have several fun activities planned for them as well. All the young men were invited to the Golf Tournament, where they were giving instructions on how to put and drive and then allowed to hit balls on the driving range. They were given a pool party as a reward for the overall improvement in the group’s report cards. And before the semester ends they will take a trip to the Planetarium on UNC’s campus in Chapel Hill.

Currently there are 17 young men regularly attending and at least 5 Kappa men, often more, present each week. They have organized themselves, voting on a group President and other officers. They continue to use the name Young Black Achievers which was decided upon by the young men in the group two years ago. And they also have kept the motto "Don’t Talk About It, Be About It" that was started last year, by the Guiderights Committee Chair, Brother Frank Meachum, Jr. The motto which chant in unison at the tops of their lungs at the very beginning of each meeting, is quite appropriate, since the young Black achievers truly are men of action and not men of words.

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