Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gamma Pi's Project ENRICH Kicks Into Gear with Opening Program

To hear the young students tell it, they really did not want to be there in the first place. Many of the upperclassmen who took the podium during Saturday morning's Opening Program for the 2012-2013 version of Project ENRICH at Bowie State University recalled how their parents "forced" them to participate in the program, taking away their precious freedom to sleep in and live carefree for one Saturday morning every month. But they also added this in retrospect: it turned out to be a great, fun experience and has helped them grow into more confident, prepared students as they sail towards college. That is the dominant story line for Project ENRICH as the program begins a new year.

About 60 parents and students gathered at Bowie State's Center for Learning & Technology for the formal opening of Project ENRICH for the current academic year. Instead of the customary keynote speaker, this year Program Director Brother Willie Hines decided to focus on the "voices" of students in the program. Students highlighted the program with their own testimonials, partly as an affirmation for parents who have supported them throughout Project ENRICH and also as encouragement to incoming freshmen.

Project ENRICH youth are aiming high. One of this year's juniors is already working toward a career as a commercial pilot.  Gamma Pi chapter has one commercial pilot in our membership, Brother Terry Hunter, of JetBlue Airways, who the student can seek out for advice.  Another student talked about a career in sports medicine and several physicians are members of the chapter, available to discuss the rigors of preparing to practice modern medicine. Students indicated many other career choices and dreams, which is what project ENRICH teaches.

Brother Hines also informed students and parents that more of the ongoing program communication this year will be through the Project ENRICH web site. Students can also expect a college tour, visiting speakers and plenty of information on the college application and financial aid process, even before 12th grade. On October 13, Project ENRICH students will be attending a college fair sponsored by U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards at the Sports & Learning Complex. To learn more, visit the Project ENRICH web site. Look for a collection of photos soon!

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