In late September, we had the pleasure of inviting the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity., Incorporated Pi Rho Chapter to the U School. The men talked to our young men about their fraternity, college, and conflict resolution. In addition, they also taught a few of the young men at the U School how to tie neckties.
"Sadly enough, there are teenagers killing teenagers in our city. When I heard about the sixteen-year-old who gunned down two of his high school aged contemporaries in South Philly I was appalled." Forrest said. "I felt like there were adults that failed that sixteen-year-old. That's why conversations like the ones we hold on a bi-monthly basis with our young men are crucial. We need to teach our young men conflict resolution."
During the panel discussion with Alpha Phi Alpha one of the U School students asked about dealing with conflicts in school and in his neighborhood. "You say you're an Alpha Male. So, what do you do if someone disrespects you?" The sixteen-year-old student asked Pi Rho Alpha Laurent- a musician and well-respected figure on Temple University's diverse campus. "You have to understand the consequences of your actions. Think about if you would want your mother to see you fighting someone on camera. As yourself: Is it really worth it? As a member of a fraternity, I represent something bigger than myself. When I make decisions, I have to take that all into account." he responded to the young man's question.
Bringing the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Pi Rho Chapter was an initiative that President Donovan Forrest thought of during the Summer. "Personally, I wanted to expose our male students to something different yet respectable. You never know, one of our students may become an Alpha one day." Forrest says that one of his favorite things about North Philadelphia is the amount of hidden talent. "Our kids deserve endless opportunity and by bringing organizations into the U School where they spend a majority of their time I hope they'll feel inspired and envision the future they so rightly deserve."