12-08-2016  2:06 pm      •     

Sen. Royce West

(NNPA) - In an ongoing effort to impact at-risk college students and youth that aspire to go to college, the Dallas County Community College District's African-American/Latino Male Initiative has held its MAN UP Conference 2010 at Cedar Valley Community College. It brought together educators, motivators and parents to stress the priority of education to students. Keynote speaker for the conference was Pastor Rickie G. Rush, D.D.
The May 1 conference was based on a MAN UP Conference held in Austin and brought to Dallas by Sen. Royce West and Dr. Andrew C. Jones, Ed.D., Vice Chancellor of Educational Affairs for DCCCD.
"Senator West attended a conference in Austin and told Vice Chancellor Jones that he would like to do a conference like this in Dallas," said Linda Lamar, M.A., Grant Program Coordinator for DCCCD/CVC. "So it was through conversation with Dr. Jones from Senator West's office that we would come about doing our own conference here," stated Lamar, who worked closely with West to coordinate the conference.
There were six workshops running concurrently: Mind on My Money, Money on My Mind; Audacity of Hope: Our Journey with Obama; Iron Man: Health and Wellness, Spiritual Swagger and Education; What's Love Got to Do with It? and MAN UP: Having Our Say. There was also a parent symposium: Are Your Children "Buck-Wild"?
Cedar Valley staff members were on sight to help guests navigate through the upcoming events and answer any questions.
Students appeared very eager to register for the conference as they received MAN UP swag to take with them. Breakfast was provided as everyone scurried around awaiting the start of events. After all attendees had the opportunity to decide on which workshops to participate in, they proceeded to the Performance Hall auditorium for the official introduction for the conference at 8 a.m.
Joe Colbert, CVC Reading Coordinator, welcomed everyone in a surprisingly enthusiastic fashion. He then introduced the major players that masterminded this ongoing effort.
Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, president of CVC, took the stage first. She stressed her desire to see the youth get a high school education and continue on to acquire a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and, lastly, their Ph.D.
"Always shoot for the highest level!" exclaimed Wimbish. "But if your interest is doing something other than that, we know that you can get there also with owning your own business and excelling in those things."
Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, president of CVC

Wimbish stated that 60 percent of African-American males who get to the ninth grade drop out. She frequently tells students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not die for us to be in the place where some of us are today. When attending special events, she challenged the youth to pay close attention to the Harvard man sitting on the left and the Morehouse man sitting on the right.
"These men look good as they have dressed appropriately for the occasion," conveyed Wimbish. "You should speak the English language and use grammar correctly. If you meet these basic standards, you can do anything!"
Lastly, Wimbish made reference to West, who was looking on in the audience.
"It is my job to pitch it high, Senator West told me. It is his job to make it happen," said Wimbish. All smiles, Senator West took the stage.
West is State Senator, District 23 in Dallas County. He has been an ongoing supporter of the Dallas County Community College District. West immediately expressed that he could relate to the young students.
"In school, I was a football player, a basketball player, a playa," West laughed. "But the reality was that I recognized making it to college doesn't mean you'll get a college education."
When West asked the students how many of them knew someone pregnant, a dropout, in juvenile detention or even in the penitentiary, several of them raised their hands.
"We have to do everything possible to provide you a way not to be involved in these negative statistics," stressed West. For the past 17 years, West has been working with the Dr. Emmitt J. Conrad Leadership Program. This program has already helped more than two thousand students find employment in their field of study.
West assured the students that if they made the effort to go through the MAN UP program, as well as other workshops, and pass their first year in college, he would do everything in his power to give them exposure to a job where they can apply their skills.
VaShone Rhodes, who conducted the workshop: Iron Man: Health & Wellness, is a graduate of Indiana University. Rhodes had the honor of working with legendary Indiana coach Bobby Knight, and took his knowledge of sports and turned it into a business LAW- Life After Whistles.
Rhodes helped to bring The Bob Knight Field House to Duncanville, which provides athletic and academic influence.
"I want to show our kids that there is more to life than just being an athlete, and even if you are, you won't always be. My program is a teaching tool to help our fourth-, fifth- and eighth-graders right now. They need to identify their academic deficiencies, as they will later have to prepare for SAT's and other tests." Rhodes states that even if you insist on sticking with sports, the aspect of going into sports as a business is a very viable option. "Look at a Magic Johnson who spent 16 years in the NBA and made about $46,000,000, but last year made about $150,000,000 in business in only one year. This doesn't happen overnight and that's why you have to grow and become grounded from a business perspective."
After all of the various workshops and other activities, everyone reconvened in the Performance Hall to listen to Rush.
Rush has exemplified what it is to be a successful student and teacher. He is the pastor and facilitator of The Inspiring Body of Christ Church. He has taken a congregation of only nine initial members and aggressively worked to make it grow to over 14,000 members. Rush utilizes his compassion, strength, boldness and humor to address the diverse needs of his ever-growing audiences. Rush acquired a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. He went on to get a Doctor of Divinity degree from Rialto Bible College. He has taught classes at high schools and colleges. He also published an inspirational book May I Have Your Order, Please?
During the conference, Rush addressed a question that many find themselves asking, "Why didn't I get hired?"
Rush pulled a young man out of the audience and asked him if he ever experienced not getting hired for a job. The man said yes. Rush said he would hire him today because he looked "approachable."
The young man was then asked to come on stage, mess up his outfit and lay on the stage. Rush proceeded with another one of his stage reenactments.
"A guy owns a ranch and a family comes to ride his horses. The ranch hand is asleep on the ground," said Rush pointing to the student. "The ranch hand wakes up, looks at the family from the ground and asks if they want to ride a horse."
Rush stated that this is the definition of "unapproachable." The crowd roared with laughter.
He did transition back to the serious issues at hand. Rush informed the youth that unattractive character, conduct and conversation could leave them with a negative label. That label might initially hinder a number of opportunities, but one has to eventually find a way to get past that.
Rush revealed that he was placed in a Special Education class when he was in the fourth grade. He said this would be one of the first of many labels that he had to overcome.
Through many years of hard work and perseverance, Rush went on to become a doctor, writer, radio personality and overall motivator. He acknowledged that going from negative to positive is a tough process.
"Turbulence only comes when you are changing altitudes," stated Rush. "As you climb to the top, find people to climb with you, not bring you down. Remember, some of you have been labeled by what appears on the outside. Start hanging around people that judge you by the content of your heart."
There were six workshops running concurrently: Mind on My Money, Money on My Mind; Audacity of Hope: Our Journey with Obama; Iron Man: Health and Wellness, Spiritual Swagger and Education; What's Love Got to Do with It? and MAN UP: Having Our Say. There was also a parent symposium: Are Your Children "Buck-Wild"?
Cedar Valley staff members were on sight to help guests navigate through the upcoming events and answer any questions.
Students appeared very eager to register for the conference as they received MAN UP swag to take with them. Breakfast was provided as everyone scurried around awaiting the start of events. After all attendees had the opportunity to decide on which workshops to participate in, they proceeded to the Performance Hall auditorium for the official introduction for the conference at 8 a.m.
Joe Colbert, CVC Reading Coordinator, welcomed everyone in a surprisingly enthusiastic fashion. He then introduced the major players that masterminded this ongoing effort.
Dr. Jennifer Wimbish, president of CVC, took the stage first. She stressed her desire to see the youth get a high school education and continue on to acquire a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and, lastly, their Ph.D.
"Always shoot for the highest level!" exclaimed Wimbish. "But if your interest is doing something other than that, we know that you can get there also with owning your own business and excelling in those things."
Wimbish stated that 60 percent of African-American males who get to the ninth grade drop out. She frequently tells students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not die for us to be in the place where some of us are today. When attending special events, she challenged the youth to pay close attention to the Harvard man sitting on the left and the Morehouse man sitting on the right.
"These men look good as they have dressed appropriately for the occasion," conveyed Wimbish. "You should speak the English language and use grammar correctly. If you meet these basic standards, you can do anything!"
Lastly, Wimbish made reference to West, who was looking on in the audience.
"It is my job to pitch it high, Senator West told me. It is his job to make it happen," said Wimbish. All smiles, Senator Royce West took the stage.
West is State Senator, District 23 in Dallas County. He has been an ongoing supporter of the Dallas County Community College District. West immediately expressed that he could relate to the young students.
"In school, I was a football player, a basketball player, a playa," West laughed. "But the reality was that I recognized making it to college doesn't mean you'll get a college education."
When West asked the students how many of them knew someone pregnant, a dropout, in juvenile detention or even in the penitentiary, several of them raised their hands.
"We have to do everything possible to provide you a way not to be involved in these negative statistics," stressed West. For the past 17 years, West has been working with the Dr. Emmitt J. Conrad Leadership Program. This program has already helped more than two thousand students find employment in their field of study.
West assured the students that if they made the effort to go through the MAN UP program, as well as other workshops, and pass their first year in college, he would do everything in his power to give them exposure to a job where they can apply their skills.
VaShone Rhodes, who conducted the workshop: Iron Man: Health & Wellness, is a graduate of Indiana University. Rhodes had the honor of working with legendary Indiana coach Bobby Knight, and took his knowledge of sports and turned it into a business LAW- Life After Whistles.
Rhodes helped to bring The Bob Knight Field House to Duncanville, which provides athletic and academic influence.
"I want to show our kids that there is more to life than just being an athlete, and even if you are, you won't always be. My program is a teaching tool to help our fourth-, fifth- and eighth-graders right now. They need to identify their academic deficiencies, as they will later have to prepare for SAT's and other tests." Rhodes states that even if you insist on sticking with sports, the aspect of going into sports as a business is a very viable option. "Look at a Magic Johnson who spent 16 years in the NBA and made about $46,000,000, but last year made about $150,000,000 in business in only one year. This doesn't happen overnight and that's why you have to grow and become grounded from a business perspective."
After all of the various workshops and other activities, everyone reconvened in the Performance Hall to listen to Rush.
Rush has exemplified what it is to be a successful student and teacher. He is the pastor and facilitator of The Inspiring Body of Christ Church. He has taken a congregation of only nine initial members and aggressively worked to make it grow to over 14,000 members. Rush utilizes his compassion, strength, boldness and humor to address the diverse needs of his ever-growing audiences. Rush acquired a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. He went on to get a Doctor of Divinity degree from Rialto Bible College. He has taught classes at high schools and colleges. He also published an inspirational book May I Have Your Order, Please?
During the conference, Rush addressed a question that many find themselves asking, "Why didn't I get hired?"
Rush pulled a young man out of the audience and asked him if he ever experienced not getting hired for a job. The man said yes. Rush said he would hire him today because he looked "approachable."
The young man was then asked to come on stage, mess up his outfit and lay on the stage. Rush proceeded with another one of his stage reenactments.
"A guy owns a ranch and a family comes to ride his horses. The ranch hand is asleep on the ground," said Rush pointing to the student. "The ranch hand wakes up, looks at the family from the ground and asks if they want to ride a horse."
Rush stated that this is the definition of "unapproachable." The crowd roared with laughter.
He did transition back to the serious issues at hand. Rush informed the youth that unattractive character, conduct and conversation could leave them with a negative label. That label might initially hinder a number of opportunities, but one has to eventually find a way to get past that.
Rush revealed that he was placed in a Special Education class when he was in the fourth grade. He said this would be one of the first of many labels that he had to overcome.
Through many years of hard work and perseverance, Rush went on to become a doctor, writer, radio personality and overall motivator. He acknowledged that going from negative to positive is a tough process.
"Turbulence only comes when you are changing altitudes," stated Rush. "As you climb to the top, find people to climb with you, not bring you down. Remember, some of you have been labeled by what appears on the outside. Start hanging around people that judge you by the content of your heart."

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