The Mighty Male Mentoring Program (3MP) is a goal-oriented program designed to support the educational and professional aspirations of minority males (also known as mentees) at Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC). The 3MP seeks to increase completion of developmental and curriculum courses, retention, graduation rates, and transfer to a UNC four-year institution. To accomplish this, the program increases exposure to academic and financial aid advising and to educational, professional, and civic opportunities.
It’s uncontroverted that minority males face many personal challenges and obstacles when it comes to college education-program admittance, financial resources, job skills, job placement, stereotypes, low grade point averages, low Accuplacer test scores, and a sense of future direction, to name a few. This is where the 3M Program steps in with mentors and academic advising.
Advising students in the Mighty Male Mentoring Program at FTCC involves developing a more personal relationship between student and advisor/mentor. Regular contact (at least twice a month) allows the student to bond and identify with his mentor.
Larry Vick, a 3MP mentor/criminal justice instructor, notes that “As college faculty and staff members, we’re often called upon to lend our time, effort, and expertise to various projects. These projects are often worthwhile, but sometimes we’re left to wonder if our investments have achieved the sought-after results. For those involved with the Mighty Male Mentoring Program, or 3M, as it’s called, the answer is clear. The 3M Program is more than just worthwhile – it’s a game changer. That’s because its benefits are permanent. By matching students who have demonstrated a desire to succeed with dedicated faculty and staff members who serve as mentors, relationships are forged that create win-win situations. Not only do the mentees reap tremendous rewards, but the mentors benefit greatly.”
The process begins with potential mentees filling out an application that memorializes their commitment to improve both as students and as male members of their communities. Upon acceptance, the mentees complete a contract with their mentors wherein they attest to a plan of action. Mentors are pre-screened to identify their areas of expertise and level of commitment. To ensure program participants stay motivated, twice monthly plenary meetings are scheduled to augment any individual meetings between mentor and mentee. In addition, there are numerous activities available that reinforce the program’s mission, purpose, and expectations.
FTCC’s 3M Program is still in its infancy, but significant strides have been made under the leadership of Theodore Thomas, James Steadman, and Bryant Youngblood. Their efforts have been supported by a group of dedicated volunteer mentors. Equally encouraging has been the caliber of the mentees who have been participating.
Recently, there have been trips planned to Tarboro and Winston-Salem to engage in 3M leadership conferences and mentor training. Mentees are also scheduled to participate in such hands-on activities as mentoring eighth graders from the Ramsey Street Alternative School as part of the Future Seekers Career Exploration Project.
Please take the time to speak with members of the 3M Program when you see them in your neighborhoods performing community service. They’ll be the young men with looks of determination and purpose, as well as a smile.
PHOTO: The Mighty Male Mentoring Program (3MP) is a goaloriented program designed to support the educational and professional aspirations of minority males.