Montgomery College Foundation Receives $50,000 Gift from The Acacia Foundation
Supports Pathway to Education for Black and African American Male High School and College Students
The Montgomery College Foundation received a generous gift commitment of $50,000 from The Acacia Foundation for the College’s Boys to Men program. The gift will enhance existing academic and social empowerment program activities and provide a significant number of student scholarships over a five-year period.
Montgomery College implemented the Boys to Men program in 2008 to serve black and African American male students with the goal of strengthening academic success, retention and graduation rates. Components of the program include mentoring using relationship-building with professional role models, guest lectures, and other activities which promote individual development. Participants attend biweekly meetings, lectures, extracurricular activities, and engage in social networking. Since the program’s inception, more than 160 students have benefitted from the initiative.
“We are extremely grateful to The Acacia Foundation for taking a giant step in supporting opportunities for education at Montgomery College through the Boys to Men program,” said
Dr. DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College. “Their generosity will contribute to the vitality of future education for many black and African American male students.”
“We are elated to once again partner with Montgomery College to support higher education in Montgomery County,” said Salene Hitchcock-Gear, president – Acacia Foundation. “As The Acacia Foundation furthers its mission of supporting diverse and underserved populations, we are proud to showcase this program as a wonderful example of the type of initiatives we support. We look forward to successful outcomes benefitting many students over the next five years.”
Through this gift, Boys to Men will officially launch its first pathway to education, a partnership with Springbrook High School in Silver Spring and the Family Justice Center in Rockville. The program will provide direct support to black and African American male participants in Springbrook’s Coaching Boys to Men program. The focus of the collaborative is using K-12 and community college education as a means to preventing and escaping the trauma of family violence.
Gus Griffin, program director of the College’s Boys to Men program and associate professor of counseling and advising, envisions a bright future for students in the program and hopes to develop a model for other schools throughout Montgomery County. “This gift will not only allow us to continue the program, but it will provide an avenue for additional expansion and growth,” he said. “The Acacia gift provides a positive response to national questions surrounding support for equality in education. We hope that Boys to Men will engage many students who are presently disillusioned with the education experience. Thanks to The Acacia Foundation, we are now able to channel these efforts to our first high school in Montgomery County.”