Project Alpha Helps Cultivate Teen Boys

Project Alpha was devel­oped to assist African­ American teenage boys in south St. Petersburg to re­alize their full potential. The program has been in existence for over 22 years, and while many community leaders have contributed their time, the program has been sus­tained and nurtured under the able leadership of Charley Williams and Willie Felton, two experi­enced educational admin­istrators in the area.

Students from area schools, grades 8 ­11, are recommended by guid­ance counselors to the di­rectors of the program. These students are then invited to attend Saturday morning sessions for 8­10 weeks beginning in Febru­ary.

The topics include: “How I made it” biograph­ical sketches by commu­nity professionals, school survival tips, developing educational goals and val­ues, how to handle bully­ing, sexual education for teens, problem solving in “real life” situations, build­ing self-­esteem, anger management and conflict resolution, and dealing with authority.

The program culmi­nates in a weekend field trip to places of historical and educational interest. Last year the participants visited Washington, D.C. If participants are accepted to college they compete for scholarships awarded by the Fraternity.

In addition, alumni of the program, who are still in school, are invited to re­turn for certain sessions on Saturday for reinforce­ment and additional men­toring. The program is funded by the Theta Eta lambda Alpha Foundation.

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