Friday, more than 150 D.C. area young men came to Howard University to take part in a morning of workshops headed by a host of Omega mentors.  They provided kids with guidance about character, manhood, career development and leadership.  With the goal of nurturing a new generation of professionals, there’s a heavy focus in peaking young boys’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. These areas, leaders say, are fertile fields that need talented young black men.

Thirteen-year-old Anthony Box was excited to attend the workshops.  The studious and shy young man says he wants to be an architect one day.

“The most important thing I learned is to keep trying and work hard, and get ready for the future,” he said. “I learned if you pay now, you can play later and have a good life.”

JaSun Frone, one of the organizers of the fraternity’s mentorship program, sees himself in the eyes of the young men that gathered on this summer day.  He became a father when he was 15 and said, “Because my father was not in the home when I was growing up, I want to be someone my kids can be proud of.  I needed some manhood support and that’s where Omega Psi Phi came in.” Fatherhood and mentorship have been banner issues for President Obama. That’s why Omega Psi Phi has teamed up with the administration to participate in the White House Fatherhood Initiative. During the convention, President Obama greeted fraternity leaders in a closed-door meeting. Thabiti Boone, the fraternity’s international representative, was encouraged that the president applauded the fraternity’s work in the community.  He said,

“The president knows what It’s like to be without a dad and for him to recognize what we’re doing in the area of fatherhood and mentoring says a lot about him.”

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