Success is a Family Affair
Kalisa Robinson wants to give her children every chance to succeed. She enrolled her oldest in mentoring programs provided by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta (100 BMATL) starting in 3rd grade.
Now her son, Kwesi Murphy, will graduate from Carver Early College in May and is deciding the next step in his future. In addition, Kalisa has earned her business administration degree from Georgia State and is planning to open her own interior design business.
They are both benefitting from Project Success. The 100 BMATL mentoring program considers the entire family. It is helping them navigate the post-secondary process.
“The 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s Project Success stepped in to help us both,” Kalisa said. “We are very thankful.”
Kwesi explains the mission of Project Success is to get students to college and make sure they are successful when they get there. He feels the program has done just that for him.
“Project Success has had a major impact on my life. Being in the program has enabled me to enhance my test taking skills, academic skills, and other personal skills,” Kwesi said.
A Foundation for Success
Project Success identifies students at-risk of dropping out or living in low socio-economic or single parent homes. It helps participants develop a productive outlook for the future and boosts high school graduation and post-secondary enrollment rates. It offers a variety of after-school and weekend opportunities for students to improve academically and socially.
Recognizing the need to educate the whole child, the 100 BMATL also assists parents of Project Success students. Programs on purchasing a home, financial literacy seminars, and continuing education counseling services are just some of the opportunities provided.
“I was encouraging Kwesi to take advantage of his options, when I realized I needed to take advantage of my options as well. Project Success helped me embrace what fulfills my life - the arts,” Kalisa shared. “I went back to college, maintained a 3.5 GPA, earned my degree and am now pursuing my passion.”
A Community of Role Models
The 100 BMATL marshals the resources, talents and commitment of Atlanta citizens to serve as role models, mentors, and advisors to program participants.
“I choose to be involved with Project Success because students appreciate hearing from the business community,” said State Farm Agent Cedric Taylor. “They always ask excellent questions. They are especially interested in how to apply classroom knowledge to real life situations.”
Kalisa feels positive messages shared by role models and mentors, like those from the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, are very important in helping youth succeed.
“I have made it a priority to expose my children to as many opportunities as possible. They need to know there is an accessible world beyond their horizons.
The mother and son have a mutual admiration. “My mom told me that I was her inspiration for going back to school,” Kwesi said. “I’m happy she decided to go back and reestablish herself.
Kalisa concludes, “It was a challenge going back to school. But demonstrating hard work and dedication will help us all find success.”