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Alpha Phi Alpha's scholarship committee conducts interviews

 

By Brother Daniel C. Patton, Scholarship Committee Chair

 

Since the early 1970s, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Beta Psi Lambda chapter has funded scholarships for college-bound, African American male high school seniors from throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, community and extracurricular involvement, and provide evidence of awards, honors, and/or other accomplishments (as expressed in the scholarship application and/or essay). In recent years, recipients have typically been awarded up to $1,250.00 in support of their college educations.   

In many ways, we find that the participating in the Alpha Scholarship program allows us as Alpha Brothers to receive as much as it enables us to give. It enables us to provide the community with a close look at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as the chance to meet with a group of men that they may not have had the opportunity to previously interact with. Above all else, it enables us as established middle-aged men to understand the two particular realities facing the current generation of African-American young men. First, the current environment often saddles students with loans that pose a potentially crushing debt burden. This creates a sense of urgency for students regarding the need to find scholarships that complement the amount of money that they receive from their financial aid packages. In short, the realities of college and high school life have created an unforgiving environment that leaves little room for error or the type of naivete that used to be associated with first-year students.



Second, although they have in common the fact that they are young, African-American men from the Los Angeles area who are graduating from high school, they are yet and still an incredibly diverse group. They are drawn from schools are diverse as Crenshaw and Campbell Hall and Rolling Hills Prep, athletes and bookworms (often simultaneously), stable, two-parent families or foster care, and from privilege to students as janitors during their teenage years or walking past a Housing Project on their way to and from High School. We appreciate their differences, and recognize that their differing backgrounds, family structures, personal histories and educational opportunities create a rich deliberating process and eventual class of awardees.

Beta Psi Lambda's scholarship committee is made up of Brothers Patton, Sergio Bent, Ernest Harris, Christopher Jackson, Cedric Holloman, Joseph Phillips, Mike Douglass, Alpha Dixon, and Craig Baylis.  They are planning the scholarship luncheon at the L.A. Alpha House for June 15.

Beta Psi Lambda Chapter is a non-profit 501(c) (7) organization and contributions to its separate Education Endowment Fund are tax deductible.  For more information about the scholarship program, and to donate to this fund or purchase luncheon tickets, contact Brother Patton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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