Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Student Group Supports Minority Males

Kickkoff event keynote speaker
Michael Kelly. 
Rio Salado College is launching the Male Empowerment Network (M.E.N.), a brand new student group designed to improve enrollment, retention and completion rates among male students of diverse cultural backgrounds.

An official kickoff event will be held January 15 from 5-8 p.m. at the Conference Center at Rio, 2323 W. 14th Street, Tempe. Michael Kelly of Phoenix-based Kelly Consulting Alliance will serve as the keynote speaker.

“We’re very excited to introduce this new opportunity for students to connect with each other and with the college,” said Kishia Brock, vice president of student affairs and advancement at Rio Salado College. “It’s important to us to provide a socially inclusive academic environment, especially for minority males who are currently underrepresented among college graduates.”

The new student group is one of ten chapters formed in support of the Maricopa County Community College District’s Minority Male Initiative and is intended to enhance the college experience by connecting minority students to people and resources within the Maricopa District and Rio Salado College communities. Members will have access to workshops, discussion forums, webinars and other in-person networking events.

District-wide support of M.E.N. members goes beyond occasional get-togethers and moral support. For example, MCCCD is currently sponsoring a Professional Men’s Clothing Drive that will provide members of M.E.N. chapters with professional attire. New and gently used professional clothing, such as suits, ties, dress shirts and slacks is being collected at all ten Maricopa Colleges and the District office through January 17.

Members of the Rio Salado M.E.N chapter are also able to participate in district-wide events such as the 2014 M.E.N. Conference featuring Tyrone Bledsoe, founder and CEO of the Student African American Brotherhood. The annual conference includes an hour long mentoring and networking session, multiple workshops and closing remarks by MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper.

“Participants in M.E.N will have access to a variety of resources that will promote personal development, academic achievement and provide the needed support to stay in college and achieve success,” Brock said.

In order to participate, students must be enrolled in at least three credits at Rio Salado College. Members should also be available to attend in-person club meetings and occasional volunteer opportunities.

Upcoming M.E.N. Events:
  • Rio Salado Chapter Kickoff Event
    • January 15, 5-8 p.m.
    • RSC Tempe Conference Center at Rio
  • Men’s Professional Clothing Drive
    • Now through Jan 17
    • RSC Tempe Tower at Rio (main entrance)
  • 2014 M.E.N. Conference
    • Feb. 21, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    • Glendale Community College
For more information on the Rio Salado College M.E.N. chapter visit http://www.riosalado.edu/men.

This story can also be found in the December 28 edition of the Tempe Republic. 
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