Chapter sponsors workshop for young men

Published 4:37 pm Saturday, February 20, 2016

By Chelsea Vance | The Selma Times-Journal

The Delta Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. hosted the 2016 Project Alpha Male Mentoring Conference on Friday.

More than 120 young men were introduced to information on law, teen parenthood, college opportunities, finance, respect, responsibility, sexual transmitted diseases/infections and incarceration.

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President of the DPL Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Billy Young said he was pleased to see the progress from the conference last year to this year.

He said there were about 70 participants last year.

“This year was bigger than last year. We’re thankful for that, and next year we want to make it even bigger,” Young said.

The conference started at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m. and featured a number of workshops. State Rep. Darrio Melton, Selma Mayor George Evans, Selma Police Department’s Mark Neely and others were guest speakers.

Project Alpha Male Mentoring Conference was a collaborative partnership of the Dallas County and the Selma City School Systems, local private schools, Wallace Community College Selma, March of Dimes and others.

The DPL chapter has been in existence in Selma more than 70 years, while the conference has been a national focus of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for 36 years.

“We want to let them know they have a support network in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. They’ve got a whole lot of people who want them to do well,” Young said.

Members of the organization have taken a pledge to keep in touch with guests who attend the conference each year. According to Young, some of them go on to be members of Alpha Academy, where their school habits and post graduation plans are monitored and they can learn life values.

He said he believes the topics discussed were significant and relevant to the young generation of men today.

“There is a direct link between no education, no involvement and high crime,” Young said. “Project Alpha is the beginning of relationships we form with these young men and we try to maintain them.”

He said he was pleased with the turnout and eager for next year. He wanted to make sure they were aware of one thing before they departed.

“They left there today knowing they are now young men of expectation and they’ve got to do something positive,” Young said. “I think they appreciated it.