Omega Psi Phi celebrates 54th Achievement Week program

Singing the Omega Hymn, L-R, Mordecai Walker, Ivan Tucker, Rev. James Golden, Darryl Rouson, Harry Harvey and Rev. Watson Haynes.



ST. PETERSBURG – The Eta Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held their nationally mandated Achievement Week program Sunday, Nov. 13 at The Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church, where the Rev. Frank Peterman, Jr. tends his flock.

This program is the culmination of a weeklong celebration in recognition of individuals that truly have made a positive difference in the Tampa Bay Area. Their commitment to improve the lives of their fellowman stands as the hallmark to their generosity.

Originally designed to promote the study of black life and history, Achievement Week is observed in November of each year and is designed to seek out and give due recognition to those individuals at the local and international levels who have made a noteworthy contribution toward improving the quality of life for black Americans.

“This is important. It’s time to reflect on our youth and for our youth to see what we want you to strive to be,” said Basileus Bro. Ivan Tucker, as he welcomed the crowd.

Bro. Watson Haynes echoed Tucker’s sentiments when he expressed how important it is to recognize our youth.

“This is important to us because as we read the newspaper, it tells us that our black young men ain’t doing nothing but having their pants hanging down, hanging around under a tree somewhere not getting an education,” Haynes said, as he helped present students from Boca Ciega, Gibbs and Lakewood High Schools with certificates that can be used in a college entrance application.

All the young men present, and ones who could not make it, were recognized for maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average.

This year’s Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to Dr. Kevin Gordon, provost of St. Petersburg College Midtown and Downtown campuses. Each year a committee chooses a person who has demonstrated a commitment to their community beyond the scope of their jobs.

“Your education is probably the most important thing you will be able to attain in your lifetime,” Gordon said to the high school students. “One thing that you can be certain of is your education. If you put that first that will put you in a position to handle whatever the future brings to us.”

Bro. Harry Harvey presented recently retired Colonel Richard Swoope the Colonel Charles Young Military Award. This is the second year in row he has won for his tireless efforts within the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, no matter where he is in the world.

The Omega Superior Service Award was awarded to Bro. Myron Mills, who has been a member of the Eto Rho Chapter for 25 years. Fifteen of those years he has led their youth program, which has more than 200 young men in grades 6-12.

The Omega Man of the Year Award is only given to a brother who embodies the four cardinal principals of the fraternity: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and Uplift. His dedication to the fraternity must be surpassed by no other, and his dedication to the community must be stellar. This year’s award was given to Bro. Jamal Gallon.

Foot Solider Awards were given to Bro. Marlin Heyward, Bro. Glenn Bailey, Bro. Joe Chaney, Bro. Jack Skipper and Bro. Javan Turner for helping Tucker do his job throughout the year as chapter president.

Keynote speaker for the evening was the incomparable Rev. James Golden, Esquire from the Mt. Zion AME Church in the Port Tampa neighborhood. He imparted sage wisdom to the young men and women in the audience, words that they will be able to lean on for the rest of their lives.

“On a night like tonight, if the people you think are your friends are not here, they ain’t got much friendship in them,” Rev. Golden said. “All your friends won’t be black, and all your enemies won’t be white, but your job is to provide uplift for them all.”

Achievement Week Committee includes: Watson Haynes, Joe Chaney, Harry Harvey, Frank Brunson, Javan Turner, Rod Green, Frank Peterman, Jr. and James Jackson, Jr.

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