The Florida A&M University (FAMU) chapter of 100 Black Men Inc. was selected Collegiate Chapter of the Year based on the strength of their voter education, economic empowerment, health awareness, mentoring and other initiatives.
During the organization’s national convention in Las Vegas, the FAMU Collegiate 100 was recognized for more than a dozen activities. The chapter collaborated with the FAMU Student Government Association to host public forums, such as Investing 101, and worked with Physicians in Training and Student Health Services to plan an education event called “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
Incoming Chapter President Emmanuel Damas, a second-year math student from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the organization has more than 50 members who signed up to volunteer to mentor students every Saturday.
“This award is for those who are dedicated to working with middle and high school students in Leon County. They’re making a difference and giving something back,” said Damas, who credits his predecessor, spring 2019 graduate Roderick Wilkins, for his positive impact on the organization.
The Collegiate 100 Chapter of the Year Award highlights the best in class activities and projects of the Collegiate 100. 100 Black Men of America, Inc., recognized three Collegiate 100 chapters that demonstrated excellence in the execution and attainment of the programmatic goals of the organization in the areas of mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic empowerment. Organizations at Southern University of Louisiana and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte were also recognized as collegiate chapters of the year for their work.
“The work of the FAMU chapter furthers the mission of the 100 Black Men of America as members explore their highest potential, promote self-care, advocate positive self-image and encourage strong leadership, while giving back to their supportive communities,” said Michael W. Victorian, 100 Black Men Inc. Collegiate 100 chairman.
The FAMU Collegiate 100 is successful and gets things done because of the strong bond among its members, Damas said.
As part of the First Year Experience Peer Mentor Program, the Collegiate 100 held The Warm Up, which discussed online networking, first impressions and selling yourself. The chapter worked with the Tallahassee Rotary Club to host a health and wellness event called the MLK Day Southside Dream Run.
The organization partnered with College Democrats and FAMU’s Campus Activity Board to put on an event called Brunch and Ballots to encourage college students to register to vote and learn the ballot, which included more than 10 constitutional amendments.
The students also led a new event called 100 Random Acts of Kindness at which students could write encouraging words to kids at the local Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. That event generated 100 letters and 100 free books to the hospital’s Children’s Center. The organization’s signature event is the annual Miss Collegiate 100 scholarship pageant, which has raised more than $3,000 over the past few years.
Collegiate 100 members grow as they work together on service projects and lend a hand in the community, Damas said.
“Some of our members grew up without men in the household. This organization helped them matriculate. They saw people doing things with their lives, trying to help themselves, trying to help others, and it motivated them to want to be a part of this and make an impact,” he said. “They wanted to so do something that was selfless. This organization helps them do that. “