By Torrey Eason
University of Arkansas
I had the pleasure of volunteering at IACAC’s Motivate Me Young Men’s Conference this year and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was so refreshing to see so many young men of color investing in their future. With so many negative images and stories circulating in today’s media, I am glad I had the opportunity to serve as a positive influence for these young men in their life journeys. This program highlights the biggest asset IACAC has to offer—our incredible membership! I had the opportunity to work with colleagues who share the same commitment to today’s youth that I do. It was really revitalizing to be a part of this program.
The weather didn’t fully cooperate with us on the day of the program, but that did not affect the participants’ enthusiasm. The young men attended sessions throughout the day about peer mentoring, enhancing their academic performance, and how media fallacies can affect their own self-perception. The program concluded with a tie ceremony during which each of the young men was presented with a blue necktie and was taught how to tie it. I enjoyed seeing the sense of accomplishment on the faces of the young men once they tied their first tie! Learning to tie a necktie isn’t an easy feat, but it was very symbolic of one of the main learning outcomes of the Young Men’s Conference. With a little hard work and determination, anything can be accomplished. This was a rewarding experience for me as a young professional and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this worthwhile program. For more information, or to help support this program in the future, contact the College Awareness and Preparation (CAP) Committee.