St. Pete Sigmas Sponsor Final Session for the Gentleman’s Institute Alpha Class

ST. PETERSBURG – The men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. were honored to work with the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as a sponsor of the final Rites of Passage session for the Gentleman’s Institute alpha class.

Over the past five months, the inaugural Beautillion Militaire group has gained confidence, wisdom, self-respect, connection to the community and brotherhood.  Last Sat., March 5, Stetson University School of Law culminated this journey by showing these high school juniors and seniors that anything is possible as long as they commit to their dreams and education.

Corey Givens, Jr. and Christopher Lampley served as the Beautillion Committee co-chairs. Each worked closely with the St. Pete Sigmas and Deltas to ensure that the young men had a memorable experience during their session.

“Anytime you can get high school aged guys out of bed before 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, you better make sure you have two things waiting for them… fun and food,” said Givens, Jr.

It was Lampley who initially proposed the idea of hosting the session with the beaux at Stetson Law School.

“The only institutions of higher education most of these young men have been exposed to are USF – St. Petersburg, Eckerd College and St. Petersburg College, so the Sigmas wanted to step outside of the box and show these students that it’s okay to dream big,” Lampley added.

Florida’s oldest law school, Stetson University College of Law (formerly a luxurious 1920’s resort hotel), is located on a spacious and beautiful campus in Gulfport. Laura Zuppo, Stetson’s Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Planning and Carmen Johnson, Stetson’s Assistant Director for Admissions and Diversity Initiatives, exemplified superior hospitality and rolled out the welcome mat in a way that the chapter has never seen before.

“These two ladies went above and beyond to ensure that the mentors and protégés had a life-changing experience during their time on Stetson Law School’s campus. They definitely showed a keen interest in building ties with the surrounding community,” said Givens Jr.

Zuppo and Johnson provided their guest with a continental breakfast, use of their Eleazer “mock” Courtroom and a tour of the historic campus, which was led by a second-year law student. The four-hour campus visit also included a financial planning presentation.

“One of the key components to educational success is financial literacy. What we aim to do here at Stetson Law School is equip our students with all the tools necessary to become well-rounded students and eventually attorneys,” said Zuppo.

The tour that was arranged for the 25 young males was engaging and thoroughly educational. “The tireless efforts of these two ladies did not go unappreciated or unnoticed,” said Antwann Jackson, president of the St. Pete Sigmas.

This trip to Stetson University was a first-time visit for many of the program participants and chaperones; however, they are quite certain that this will not be the last. They look forward to building a strong partnership with the Stetson Law community, as they further the goals of their wondrous fraternity; promoting brotherhood, scholarship and service!

The forum was moderated by Givens, Jr., and discussion topic ranged from bullying to gang violence. Guest panelist included Linda Mobley, author and domestic violence activist, Jabaar Edmond, videographer and vice president of the Childs Park Neighborhood Association, Dr. Michael L. McPherson, chiropractor and civic activist and motivational speaker, poet and inner-city youth advocate Marques A. Clark.

The session concluded with a delicious lunch catered by Kendrick Scott, a St. Pete Sigma and owner of Heavy’s Food Truck.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded on January 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Led by International President Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., the organization equips college-educated men with the tools necessary to improve the social and economic conditions of communities worldwide.

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