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Project Alpha teaches responsibility to young men

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

The Delta Pi Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity got together in partnership with Wallace Community College Selma Friday for the Project Alpha event.

Known as the “Black Belt Alphas,” they host the event every year to educate the youth of Dallas County and show that they have someone watching their back. The event is held in the Hank Sanders Technology Building.

Entering its sixth year, the program provides young high school men with education on real-life situations. Classes include lessons on fatherhood, responsibilities relating to the law, such as how to act if pulled over, and college and career readiness.

According to chapter president Billy Young, the first Project Alpha started off with 20 kids. Now, they have almost 100 from four different schools- Keith High, Selma High, Southside High and Dallas County High.

“We want these young men to understand the concept of service. They will need to look out for those who come after them as well,” Young said. “Our motto is ‘service is the price you pay for the space you occupy.”

Various types of men in the community come out to show their support for their youth. This includes State Rep.Prince Chestnut and Sgt. Kendall Thomas.

Chestnut makes sure to attend this event every year to speak to the kids. This year, Sgt. Thomas taught Project Alpha’s law responsibility classes for the four schools.

Other guests included Andre Williams, Cedric Wherry, Bernard Mathis, Lonzy Clifton and Coach Darrell Walker.

Attending this year’s event, Representative Chestnut is proud to see the work that Young and other Alphas are doing to give back to the community.

“Young is always out helping people,” Chestnut said.

“When we look at these young men, many need access to positive information, such as talking to them about things they may go through. We hope to establish lasting relationships with them.”

The program lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with a lunch concluding the program for the four schools and Alpha members.

Project Alpha was sponsored in a group effort by the Black Belt Alphas, Wallace Community College Selma, and the Upsilon Eta chapter of the Alphas (Auburn-Montgomery).