Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2020 @ 8:52 PM
Post-secondary education is fundamentally available to all wishing to partake in it, but it not necessarily obtainable in completion or accessibility—especially when mixed with factors of race, sex, financial stability, and background.
Multicultural Academic and Support Services (MASS) Collegiate Male Institute (CMI) focuses on creating pathways for male students flagged as students in need to support (i.e. less likely to graduate, more likely to not be able to continue to financial support their tuition expenses, less likely to get involved, and more likely to not attend class).
Through CMI’s Five Pillar System, MASS intends to prepare these students for academic success while pursuing post-secondary education completion, in addition to preparing them for leadership, mentorship, and relationship-building in the professional realm.
Pillar One, Academic Skill Building and Enrichment, nourishes the academic side of post-secondary education. Pillar Two, Mentorship, takes their academics a step further by developing a mentee/mentor relationship to either increase knowledge gained or pass on what has been absorbed depending on the stance of the relationship. Pillar Three, Leadership Development, adds layers of supplement to portfolios, fosters critical thinking, and gives students the strength to develop their own voice. Pillar Four, Career Readiness, polishes concepts fostered in a classroom and the other pillars and transforms them into usable skills for the future career field. Pillar Five, Social Justice and Advocacy, instructs students on how to be an advocate for others, for innovation, for opportunity, and for themselves.
Throughout each semester, CMI meets to discuss these five pillars, attend conferences and summits, and uplift one another. They additionally have two supplementary organizations: Brother 2 Brother and Brothers on the Rise. Brothers on the Rise focuses on assisting and building relationships with current high school students. Brothers on the Rise has currently partnered with Oviedo High School, but is also looking to expand into Orange County Public Schools.
“We want to advocate for these students, because we see the potential in them to be great,” said MASS Coordinator, Jeremy Jones. “We do so by supporting them and pushing them out of their comfort zone, to transform them into better men, better sons, better brothers, future husbands, and future fathers.”
Parent and Family Fund Grant (PFFG) funds help to go towards paying for expenses, such as conferences, scholarships, summits, and attire like their specialty “maroon blazer.” According to Jones, the support of the PFFG allows him and his team to reward the students for their hard work, overcoming of barriers, and dedication to themselves and their program.
For more information on how to get your student involved, visit www.mass.sdes.ucf.edu.
Collegiate Male Institute in the News: MASS Collegiate Male Institute “Men in Maroon” Induction Ceremony