Sunday, October 3, 2021

New Year for Project ENRICH: Focus on Careers and Colleges

For the second consecutive year, Gamma Pi Chapter's Project ENRICH opened the academic year by adjusting cameras, opening microphones and pressing buttons on their computers, rather than filing into an auditorium on the campus of Bowe State University. The only thing that resembled pre-pandemic Project ENRICH is that it was a Saturday morning. Second-year director Bro. James Riley, Jr. and other Brothers working with the program along with the newly registered students held the 2021-22 opening session on the Web Ex video platform.

"I believe in leaning on resources. We don't always have the answer, but what we are always going to do is find the answer," said Bro. Riley in his opening remarks.

The opening session was used to introduce the members of the chapter who will be working with this year's group of young college aspirants, and also to introduce students to each other.. This year's focus is "Careers and Colleges" and to get the students warmed up for this year, they were led in discussions about what their dream jobs looked like, what charity they would donate to if they had $1 million and about residual income earning opportunities.

Team leads working with this year's class are Brothers Andrew Gibson, Anthony Smith, Chris Green, Jason Crump, John  Howard and Damien Goins. Vice Basileus Bro. Richard Allison, who is also Gamma Pi's incoming Basileus, greeted the students at the start.

The overarching message every year at Project ENRICH is that the high school years are critical to future success. Bro Goins summed it up best: "These four years will set you up for the next 40.If you play with these years now, you will pay later. If you pay during these years now, you can play later."

As positive as the opening session was, a dark cloud hovered overhead left over from the closing program for the 2020-21 academic year, which ended on a tragic and surreal note for Project ENRICH. On May 1, Gamma Pi Bro. and program lead William "364" Reese gave a rousing speech to the students, sending, them off for the summer with some powerful words of wisdom, only to suddenly pass away a few minutes later off screen. Word reached everyone just a few hours after the closing session ended on WebEx. Bro. Riley encouraged students who witnessed that tragedy to utilize it as a lesson for overcoming adversity.

It is not too late to register for Project ENRICH, visit the website here: Project ENRICH.

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