Sunday, June 2, 2013

Project ENRICH Ends Another Successful Year on a High Note

To hear Antoinette Mason tell it, she did not want to be there in the first place. Not at the start. She absolutely hated coming to Project ENRICH and only came to the program, as a ninth grader, because she had to. But on yesterday she was able to look back and see a lot of personal growth and growing confidence in her own abilities as she heads off to college. Mason was named winner of the "Perseverance" award for the senior class by Brother Lucien Cox, who heads the seniors group. She was among a number of students who joined parents, friends and members of Gamma Pi for the closing ceremony for Project ENRICH to mark the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

Project ENRICH Seniors
More than 100 people packed a large room at Vista Gardens in Bowie for a fantastic program that highlighted the year, recognized the achievements of outstanding students and gave a vision for their future -- especially the seniors. Director Willie Hines, a longtime member of Gamma Pi, also offered a look into the future of Project ENRICH next year as the program looks to continue its expansion and also welcome in a new freshman class next August. One component he hopes to build into next year's program is more independent study where students can self-tailor more of their activities.

Saluting the Seniors

Yesterday, the focus was on the program's seniors and what the four years of participation has ingrained in them as they prepare for college. That was a way of reaching back to the juniors, sophomores and freshman about what to look forward to as they continue their high school studies toward college. The seniors took turns recalling their Project ENRICH experiences through the four years: field trips,college tours, career day talks and of course the annual April essay contest. The seniors passed along advice to the students they are believing behind and evoked a specials sense of pride as they announced their college choices for the Fall: Morgan State University, Towson University, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Frostburg State, Virginia State and even faraway paces like the University of Alabama and Tennessee, where one student is enrolled in a joint program at Fisk University-Vanderbilt University.

The Gamma Pi Project ENRICH Support Team 
A recent alumnus of the program, Nathan Jones, offered an inspirational talk about being prepared and how Project ENRICH helped him make the transition from high school to college, where he is a rising sophomore at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. A parent, Cecilia Lawrence, also spoke to the group about the benefits she realized through the participation of her son who is a rising junior. Brother Ikey Staton, Gamma Pi Vice Basileus, brought greetings on behalf of Brother Gordon Everett, Sr., Basileus.

MacKenzie Summer was given the top honor yesterday by being named the "#1 senior" in Project ENRICH. In addition to her and Antoinette Mason (Perseverance award winner), other senior award winners were Miracle Iweala (Manhood), Adam Pinkney (Scholarship) and Cesi Taboada (Uplift). Brother Cox personally pledged $800 of his own money toward tuition for the four award winners -- $200 for each winner representing the Omega Psi Phi Four Cardinal Principles: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift.

Winners of the annual essay contest were also recognized for each grade level. Freshmen: Rudy Jules, Donovan Fowler (First place); Gammon Gresham (Second); Willie Hines (Third).  Sophomores: Brandon Jones (First), Makyla Massie (second), and Aaron Lorenzo (Third). Juniors: Shayne Dennis (|First); Niaye Greene, Brittany Jennings (Second); Chidera Ken-anueyiagu (Third). Seniors: MacKenzie Summer (First); Ragime Young (Second); Cesi Taboada, Miracle Iweale (Third)

Celebrating "40" With a Commitment to Scholarship

For Gamma Pi, which is celebrating 40 years, Project ENRICH represeinnts the chapter's commitment to the Cardinal Principle of Scholarship. It is operated in conjunction with the academic year and focuses on students in the Prince George's County schools. The students meet one week a month at Bowie State University for lectures, activities, informational sessions and hearing from experts about college financial aid and scholarships.

In addition to Brothers Hines and Cox, the Project ENRICH teams also consists of Brothers Lawrence Branch, Otis Fowler, Brett Blake and Don Norwood (Juniors), 

You can watch the entire Project ENRICH closing ceremony on the Web at The program was broadcast live and is 65 minutes long. Also, visit Project ENRICH on the web at or on Facebook:

Here are some photos from the event provided by Brother Norwood:


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