by Taki S. Raton
The 100 Black Men Milwaukee Chapter in conjunction with the Chicago chapter “100” will again identify Milwaukee African American high school seniors for this year’s Honors Student Reception held Friday, October 15 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
This will be a select invitation to students in area public and private schools that meet the criteria of a minimum 3.3 GPA and a 23 cum score or above on the ACT or SAT standardized test.
Students are additionally asked to prepare a personal portfolio with grades/transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a completed common or a specific college application, a personal essay writing sample and resume.
It will be further stressed that invitees have “class” – a mannerable social presence about him or her with attention to dress, personal grooming, and articulation as recruiters will also be sensitive to such qualities.
Last year, a character-nurturing sample was designed titled “Cultivating Your Perfect Best for the Honors Student Reception.”
This four-page expose was written emphasizing that the “Face” the young people present be reflective of an exemplary caliber of achievement, promise, ethics, and morality mirroring where you intend to go and of that which you expect to become. This model will be used again this year.
Thirteen students and four parent chaperons last year on October 16 gathered at the African American Women’s Center, 3020 West Vliet for a brief send-off reception before boarding a comfortable stylishly fashioned Providence Baptist Church 57-seat coach bus donated by the Milwaukee Chapter 100 Black Men. Seniors selected for this occasion were from Rufus King, Riverside, Messmer, and Divine Savior Holy Angeles high schools.
They were numbered in the over 250 pupils who had the opportunity to meet and interact with 41 colleges and university representatives, many of which were of Ivy League status.
A sample listing of schools present included Grinnell, Carleton College, Vanderbilt, Princeton, U-Penn, Grinnell, Wesleyan, Bates College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Knox College, Notre Dame, Oberlin College, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Williams College, Brandeis, Morehouse, Howard, Hampton, Northwestern, DePaul, Indiana, Colorado College, Air Force Academy, Vanderbilt University and Wesleyan College.
The purpose of the Honors Student Reception (HSR) was to lend prospects for area seniors to attract both college admissions and scholarship opportunities.
Then Rufus King senior, now graduate Andrea Walker will be attending the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point this year with a full scholarship and a paid internship as a result of attending the Honors Student Reception last year.
She says that she received over $5000 in additional scholarship offers to include the Delta Memorial Endowment Fund and the North Central Service Club. Her major is Political Science and Business Administration.
Messmer graduate Talandria Rivers also joined the 2009 tour and is attending Marquette University.
“Anyone who would say that today’s youth and young adults are not excelling, growing and working hard did not witness in Milwaukee this past Friday’s gathering at the Wisconsin African American Women’s Center students with outstanding grades, strong ACT scores and excitement in the anticipation of acquiring a college education.”
The foregoing is a statement by current 100 Black Men of Milwaukee president Ken Harris last year at the October 16 send-off reception. His daughter Lauran attended last year’s HSR and is a now a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“All of Milwaukee should really be proud of these students; of their academic accomplishments and of their excellent character and social demeanor,” said Earl Wheatfall of 100 Black Men at the send-off reception.
He adds that, “These are truly model students representative of what we should be capable of producing here in Milwaukee.
And if our community is to change for the better, we, especially our men, must stand up for our youth, roll up our sleeves and commit ourselves to providing support, inspiration, direction and vision to our young people, especially to our young men.
“We must always remember of our children the hard reality as reflected in our motto – ‘What They See Is What They’ll Be.’“
Michael Miller, senior staff assistant to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said at this premier 2009 reception that he thoroughly enjoyed the brief time spent with the students and their parents at the WAAWC reception. He added:
“I am glad and quite pleased that plans are going well and as expected for this trip and it is indeed a joy to be in the company of so many young people from our community who have excelled in their studies.
“There is still much work to be done in helping to create positive and progressive opportunities for our future leaders and I will make sure that a report of this project is shared within my office channels.”
Chicago 100 Black Men member Ken Melone towards the end of the evening last year at Merchandise Mart said that it was “great to see the excitement and confidence in the students from Milwaukee and their commitment, drive and preparation to enter college.
“We know that special things happen during our Honors Student Reception event that does not happen anywhere else.
“We look forward to seeing more seniors from Milwaukee next year. We here in Chicago are connected to and fully supportive of you also.”
Melon served as the contact person between the Chicago and Milwaukee chapters to ensure logistical planning success between the two cities.
100 Black Men of Chicago Board of Directors Chairman John S. Kendall, Esq. echoed Melone’s sentiments saying that “we encourage Milwaukee’s participation next year and envision making this a truly regional event.”
All significant organizational stakeholders this year have made a commitment to start early to take advantage of Melon’s most gracious invitation to have the remaining 39 seats on the Providence coach filled this coming October 15.
We want to thank last year’s students Lauren, Andrea, Kai’Yah, Shonise, Korey, Malaine, Christopher, Talandria, Regina, Nigel, Kiah, Nyomi, Amber and their parents for giving us here in Milwaukee a proud moment and for providing solid examples of excellence, achievement, personal image decorum and vision that will guide us in this our current year student selections.