By Carol Mayo and Jennifer Wimbush
The work of Delta Sig- ma Theta Sorority, Inc., supporting minority males continues through innovative ZOOM activi- ties planned for students in the Dallas metroplex area.
Recently members of the Dallas Alumnae Chapter, in partnership with Project M. A. L. E., hosted a virtual 2020-2021 Closing Celebration for minority males.
Both organizations offer mentoring programs targeting minority males in different age groups from kinder – 12th grades.
The Closing Celebration, using the theme “We Are Our Ancestors’ Dream,” recognized students for attendance/participation, Leadership, Black History and Entrepreneurship competitive presentations. Students met monthly for educational experiences led by male mentors.
In previous years, the monthly meetings have been in person. This year, relative to COVID-19, the sessions have been via ZOOM, with the overall objective to sup- port the successful completion of students through high school. The sessions focus on the following areas: Education, Social Etiquette, Knowing Your History and Culture, Spiritual Health, and Healthy Lifestyles.
A major emphasis for this year has been Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship. Facilitated by Austin Medley, the Youth Pastor for Concord Church (Dallas), to further promote the concept of entrepreneurship, two local high school students, owning their own businesses, offered inspirational messages.
The first program presenter, Jarrod Jackson, a DeSoto High School student has established a popcorn business in Mansfield, “J’s Poppin.”
The second speaker, Kevin Roberson, also of DeSoto High School, owns and operates “The Pie DUDE,” a business where he bakes, sales and distributes homemade pies. Following the drive-through celebration, students were able to taste samples of the products.
During the Completion Award portion of the program, Mark Anthony Anderson of Cedar Hill High School was presented the outstanding leader award. With an emphasis on financial wealth students were required to establish the name and type of business they wanted to own in the future, create a budget, develop a marketing plan and identify personnel needed to operate the business.
“It has been refreshing to work with the students each month observing learning and growth experiences.,” said program mentor Jason Jackson.
Members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority were on hand to present awards to the following junior and high school winners of the Youth Entrepreneur Challenge:
Braylon Brown, a 6th grader from Lake Ridge Middle School placed 1st in the 6th – 8th grade competition with his “New to You Shoes” business, which takes gently-used shoes, that are restored and then resold.
Josh Hurd, a junior at DeSoto High School who operates “J-Affect Shirts,” was the 1st Place winner in the 9th – 12th grade competition.
Kinder through 5th grade students did not participate in the program for junior and high school students, but did participate in a similar program for their age group.
“We are thankful for the sup- port of sponsors, and pleased to acknowledge the following program-contributing organizations American Legion Tommy Robinson Post 802, Comerica Bank, Dodd Education and Support Foundation, The Good News Class of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Dallas and Lancaster ISD, and UNT-Dallas,” said Delta Sigma Theta president Dr. Andrea Hilburn.