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Alpha Phi Alpha presents Project Alpha at View Park Middle School

The national program discusses issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males.

 

By: Brother Charles Lemle – Project Alpha Chair, BPL Chapter

On Saturday, April 6, 2019, the Beta Psi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. hosted its annual Project Alpha workshop for over 40 young men between the ages of 13-17.   

This event, a national program for the fraternity, was held at View Park Preparatory Middle School for the third consecutive year.  Project Alpha is a collaboration with the March of Dimes, designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males.  The workshop features empowering sessions that allow young men to interact with engaging presenters form the fraternity as well as special guests.

Session one was presented by Brother Charles Lemle, current Principal of View Park Prep High School.  Brother Lemle integrates science instruction with relevant information about sexually transmitted infections (STI).  Students were captivated by a transmission lab activity that simulated the exchange of fluids during sexual activity.  Each person received a sample clear solution that was passed on from two sources.  A test was conducted to see which solution each participant had and if the solution changed color, they received an STI.



The second session was about intimate violence in relationships.  This session was conducted by Brother De Shon Andrews, who is a Detective III for the Los Angeles Police Department.  Helping to facilitate this session was guest Kelli Dillon, who was once a victim of domestic violence and was able to share her story with the young men.  Brother Andrews and Kelli shared the realities and potential legal implications that arise when poor and violent choices are made involving your partner.

Session three was conducted by Brother Craig Bailey, a young civil engineer who presented about responsibility, respect, and the role of males in relationships.  Participants discussed the benefits of having a committed monogamous relationship built on mutual respect.  Brother Bailey shared examples from his own relationships and different periods in his life to make the topic relatable to the students.

To conclude the sessions, Brother Wayne Kimball Jr. led a discussion about adolescent pregnancy and fatherhood.  During this session a pros and cons analysis was conducted where students learned about the challenges that arise when faced with having a child at an early age.  Students participated in an activity where they were given a modest salary and determined how much they would be able to “live on” after the necessary expenses of raising a child.  It was an eye opening experience as most of the young men were left with a sole one-dollar bill.

To conclude the day, the young participants were able to exchange dialogue with brothers from the chapter over lunch.  Participants gave valuable feedback and many appreciated that the presenters “kept it real.”  It is this opportunity to be an influence in the lives of young men to help them make informed choices about their future that makes presenting Project Alpha worthwhile.

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