100 Black Men Fall 2017
Strong Surge for Success
And now The 100 is gearing up to expand Project SOAR to provide programming and mentoring to 1,000 students at nine MMSD middle and
high schools. Members of The 100 and other volunteers will be visiting the schools up to three times per week with the different components
of Project SOAR. The action begins September 18th.
“With the Career Academy, they will be exposing the kids to different lines of work,” said J.R. Sims, The 100’s public information officer. “Not
everyone is cut out to go to a four-year college. There is nothing wrong with going to a two-year college. There is nothing wrong with getting a
trade skill. What we are trying to do with the Career Academy is show these kids all kinds of different styles of work and how these individuals
are making a positive contribution to society at large. You have to play to your greatest strength. And playing to your greatest strength is going
to benefit your community. So with the career academy, these kids will be seeing all kinds of different people.”
The Success Academy will deal with different issues that the students might be facing at school, at home or in the community.
“With the Success Academy, it’s going to be a core group of men who will visit every school,” Sims said. “If we have a doctor of psychology
who can deliver expert testimony on post traumatic stress and that person has volunteered for us, we’ll bring that person in and let that person
talk to these kids about how you recognize these sorts of disorders and what to do about it. The Success Academy will utilize a core group of
people to deliver this message.”
And the third component, mentoring, will involve matching the students with an adult volunteer.
“With mentoring, that is going to be one-on-one according to what the mentors and students are interested in,” Sims said. “It’s a two-way street.
The student might have something that fits well for the mentor. There will be give and take and a learning process for both as they figure each
other out and decide the best way to move forward.”
People can sign up to be mentors, career academy instructors or success academy instructors by visiting www.100blackmenmadison.com or
by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 100 is also developing a scholarship program. It is developing the scholarship program’s structure and criteria and plans to grant its first
scholarships in time for the 2018-2019 school year. And in order to raise funds for the scholarship program, The 100 is hosting a Scholarship
“On September 22, we have our Scholarship Gala at the Madison Club,” Sims said. “It starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m. Tickets are $100
and people can go to our website, www.100blackmenmadison.com and register. It’s not going to be the same magnitude that the Madison Club
Foundation Party was, but it is still going to be along those lines. There will be a dinner, silent auction items and live auctions. We expect
people to dress to impress. There are still corporate sponsorships and tables available. There are various levels of corporate participation.
Everyone should have a good time and walk away feeling good about themselves because they contributed to an amazing cause.”
The 100’s surge of September activity is capped off on September 25th when the Wright Middle School’s African American History Challenge
Bowl team will be saluted at the MMSD school board meeting at 6 p.m. Not only did they win the 100 Black Men of Madison’s History Bowl, but
they also went on to become national champions.
“Wright just blew everyone away at the national competition,” Sims said with pride. “It wasn’t even a contest.”
There is a lot happing in September. Join The 100 as they start a surge of support for student success in the Madison public schools.
By Jonathan Gramling
For the past few years, 100 Black Men has been kicking up its game in
empowering Madison area young men of color and other students of
color to make the right choices and succeed academically. They have
been operating mentoring programs at Leopold Elementary School and
last year held a pilot program at Memorial High School through Project
SOAR, which met with Memorial students about once per week to assist
the students in developing a winning approach to their academic and
The 100’s 2017-2018 school year campaign began with the Backpacks
for Success event held in The Atrium at Madison College in order to
expand the number of service providers who could provide information
to the students and to start getting the students to feel comfortable in an
institution of higher education while approximately 1,600 backpacks
were given away.
|Photos were from 100 Black Men Backpack for Success held at
Madison College-Truax last August