With great “enthusiasm,” Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, THIRD District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity began its fifth year of the “Reading for Success” program at Riverside Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia.
On November 14, 2018, the Brothers, known affectionately as “The Sirs,” supported six third-grade classes with a total of 125 eager students. The program consisted of the Kickoff and First Read Aloud session. Again, we were welcomed by Reading Program Coordinator, Third-Grade Teachers, and especially the Third-Grade Students.
The chapter’s Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc., provided 125 Royal Purple and Old Gold Backpacks filled with 27 books on various subjects to encourage reading and provide the students an individual reading library. We chose “The Last Minute” by Sasha Griffin, for the first reading session and this book was added to their library. The book tells the story of a girl name Katy who put off completing a homework assignment until, you guessed it, the last minute.
Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter was represented by nine brothers who served as reading mentors. Brothers Bradford Caldwell, Marvin Chisolm, James George, Joe Howze Sr., Jerome “Duke” Haggins, Jerry Hubbard Sr., Chester Keller, Frank Matthews, Richard Morris, Jeffrey Owens, and coordinating this program was the chapter’s Social Action Coordinator, Brother Kenneth M. Younger.
“The Sirs” are proud of the fact that we have donated “3,375 books” during our “Kickoff” and first reading session of this school year. The brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter will continue to do their part to inspire these young readers and we look forward to the second of our four Read Aloud sessions in January 2019.
On Saturday August 4, 2018 the Zeta Mu Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Williamsburg Area Foundation for Education and Community Outreach (WAFECO) completed their 1st Annual Scholarship Banquet in Williamsburg, Virginia. WAFECO is the proud non-profit extension of the Zeta Mu Mu Chapter that assists with fund raising and social action efforts. Brother Dr. Henry Ranger (Summer 16’ ZMM), President of WAFECO, expressed his joy in the accomplishment of this banquet and the significant role it plays in the growth of the Omega Psi Phi presence in the Williamsburg area at large. During the event five college-bound seniors, currently attending high schools in the Williamsburg, James City County, and Yorktown areas, individually received a $1000.00 scholarship. This is the largest scholarship award that the Zeta Mu Mu Chapter and WAFECO have been able to provide since their founding in March 2008. Brother Cameron Mix (Spring 13’ ZMM), Basileus of the Zeta Mu Mu Chapter, shared that the increase in chapter membership, dedication, and overall commitment has resulted in our ability to provide more opportunities to the young people in this community. Brother Dr. Stanley Jones (Winter 88’ GA), guest speaker and Superintendent of Danville Public Schools, offered words of encouragement and inspiration as he challenged the scholarship winners to “set achievable goals” and “align focus with commitment.” During the event Brother Dr. Henry Ranger reported that there are already plans for future fundraisers that will hopefully assist even more students in years to come. To qualify students were required to complete a rigorous application process that included an essay and interview. The Zeta Mu Mu Chapter and WAFECO are proud to announce the following winners and their University of choice: Isiah Gist (North Carolina Central University), Chase Greene (Shenandoah University), Edward Hopson (Averett University), Chase McBurnette (Radford University), and Leon Wilson Jr. (Liberty University).
Crystal City, VA. On June 2, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Virginia, Psi Alpha Alpha held its fourth annual scholarship and community recognition breakfast; the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc.—a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, underwrote the event.
More than 65 honorees, their families, their friends, guests and members of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter attended the event. As the attendees entered the Prince William Conference room, the air was filled with the melodious sounds of music written and produced by Clarence T. Brown, III – one of the scholarship recipients.
The master of sound for the event was Brother Keith Wilson. Brother Isaiah Barnwell III served as the Master of Ceremony and performed his duties with his usual, yet extraordinary charm and wit. Brother Beidleman invoked God’s presence to come and fill the room with His grace and mercy and bestow bountiful blessings upon the tasty breakfast buffet. As a special treat, the attendees ate and socialized, while Bro. Wilson continued to play soft music; thereby, providing a unique ambience to this special occasion. Brother Craig Spraggins (Basileus/President) of the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Fairfax County, VA, and Brother Jerome Haggins (Vice President BLB, Inc) along other chapter members greeted the honorees, family members, and friends.
While the Chapter’s first place Talent Hunt winner was not available to perform one of her melodious piano masterpieces, the second-place winner, Mr. Nicholas McCatty provided his wonderful vocals to two Donny Hathaway classics. In true Psi Alpha Alpha fashion, the chapter utilizes every opportunity to highlight the skills of our Talent Hunt winners and participants.
A dynamic motivational speaker named Reginald Williams, who specializes in emotional identity and cognitive behavioral education, highlighted the event. His charge to the students allowed them to realize that, although they are not perfect; they are perfectly made as a masterpiece. This helped the scholarship candidates to realize that there is something uniquely special about them and the talents they offer the world.
Ms. Mickayla Brandao, the 2017 Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter top scholarship recipient and student at New York University; provided an excellent charge to the honorees: make the most of your college experiences, hold yourself to high expectations, always be yourself, and remember God’s influence on your life.
The Foundation/Psi Alpha Alpha awarded $21,100 for the 2018 Scholarship and Community Recognition Programs. The awards were presented in three groups of honorees and community recognitions: Students who apply to the Bernie L. Bates Foundation’s Scholarship Program are selected based on the scholarship committee’s selection criteria; the community recognitions are selected by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. In 2018, the selections were Scholarship Honorees ($20,000), University Recognitions ($1,000), and High School Recognitions ($100). Of special note, the four highest awards were given in the names of prominent Omega men whom devoted their lives to the service of their communities and set the example of a selfless servant of the community.
C. D. Hylton High School
Mississippi State University
C. D. Hylton High School
Winston-Salem State University
Hayfield Secondary School
George C. Marshall High School
Forrest Park High School
James Madison University
Yorktown High School
College of William and Mary
Clarence T. Brown, III
Charles J. Colgan High School
St John Paul the Great Catholic High School
North Point High School
Washington Lee High School
University of Chicago
St Johns College High School
$8,000.00 (over four years)
St John’s University
High School (Community Recognitions)
Cydni A. Brown
Woodrow Wilson High School
Norfolk State University
University Graduate (Community Recognitions)
Northern Virginia Community College
George Mason University
Over the past twelve years, the Foundation and Psi Alpha Alpha has provided over $300,000 in support of the Fairfax County community; our programs include, but are not limited to- the Youth Aviation Program (I Believe I Can Fly), Reading for Success Program (Riverside Elementary School), Gum Springs Community Center, New Hope Housing, Northern Virginia Urban League, Capital Area Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club and a myriad of other community support activities.
We wish the recipients of all our programs the very best in their endeavors, as Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Bernie L. Bates Foundation continues to support the community through the Cardinal Principles of; Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.
A pair of high school students who aspire to become medical doctors are the recipients of the Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Chapter’s scholarship for the 2017-18 school year.
Hana Lee graduated from Centreville (Va.) High School on June 8; Lee will pursue an undergraduate degree at North Carolina Central University and then enroll in medical school. Kelcey Parks Jr. graduated from George C. Marshall High in Falls Church Va., on June 13; he plans to become a pediatrician. Parks will attend Baylor University where he will study Medical Humanities with a Pre-Med focus.
Lee and Parks were chosen from among 13 applicants.
Lee carried a 3.68 cumulative grade point average and was a member of the W.E.B. DuBois Honor Society at Centreville High School. She was an outside hitter on the varsity volleyball team, and she is very active as a volunteer in her community and church.
Lee volunteered with the Special Olympics, tutored students who needed help in Math, was a teacher’s helper at area elementary schools and participated in food drives at her church. Lee is also a member of her church’s youth choir and Dance Ministry.
Parks graduated with a 3.61cumulative grade point average and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities at Marshall High. He was a member of the football team and the band; he was also treasurer of the Black Student Union, a member of Junior Achievement and Future Business Leaders of America, and he sat on the Executive Board of his chapter of Jack and Jill of America.
Parks attends First Baptist Church of Vienna, Va., where he is active in the Youth Ministry as a member of the Youth Brass Ensemble. He is also a member of the Youth Ministry.
On March 3, 2018 Brother Bruce L. Brown attended his commencement ceremony in New Orleans to receive a Doctoral Degree in Organizational Management with a Specialization in Information Technology from Capella University. His dissertation topic“Investigating the Veterans’ Behavior Factors and Attitude Towards Use of the eBenefits Portal.” Brother Bruce L. Brown is also a Lifetime member Delta Mu Delta, which is a business Honor Society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities. Scholarship at its best and congratulations to our Brother and friend Dr. Bruce L. Brown!
On May 4, 2018, Bro. Rossie D. Johnson graduated with a doctoral degree from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. He earned a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Occupational and Technical Studies. His dissertation research focused on the motivators and enablers of military service members earning their post-secondary degrees. Bro. Johnson is a 25-year career U.S. Army veteran having retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was initiated Spring 1985 into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at Epsilon Gamma Chapter, Saint Paul’s College, Lawrenceville, VA. Bro. Johnson is currently the Vice Basileus of Delta Omega Chapter in Petersburg, VA. He and his wife Adrienne have three children, Brandon (Omega Legacy Brother), Andrea, and Alexandria.
RICHMOND, Virginia, Thursday June 7, 2018, this was a banner year for Upsilon Nu’s Kavansa B. Smith Memorial Scholarship. We had tremendous interest from students for our annual scholarship. We received scholarship applications from seniors across the Greater Richmond area. The Upsilon Nu Scholarship and Social Action Foundation Upsilon Nu Scholarship Committee are proud to announce that in April 2018 they awarded $12,000 in scholarships to high school seniors who are college bound in the fall of 2018 academic year on behalf of the Kavansa B. Smith Memorial Scholarship program.
“This year we had 38 recipients apply for our scholarship. 24 girls and 14 boys in 2017, we continue to try and work our relationships with high schools counselors to encourage more students to apply. These funds will help reduce some of the financial burden of pursuing higher education and assist in the dreams of these young people”, stated Scholarship Committee Chairman Bro. Stephen Wilson. The increase in the number of young men is noteworthy.
Upsilon Nu laid out the red carpet for its 2018 Scholarship recipients, the recipients were recognized by members of the chapter. They were welcomed by Basileus Michael Swain whom gave them words of encouragement and thanks. Scholarship Chairman Bro. Stephen Wilson welcomed the recipients and their parents to the program and thanked them for their participation. Bro. Wilson recognized Ms. Kendra Johnson, a scholarship recipient in 2008-09, whom attended Hampton University and is now pursuing her Doctorate in Education at Virginia Common Wealth University. He also recognized Ms. Keisha Smith, the daughter of Bro. Kavansa B. Smith for whom the scholarship is named. Ms. Smith gave a very heartfelt thanks and congratulated the recipients of this year’s scholarship awards.
Bro. Fred Shuford provided a seminar on “Time Management, Preparing for College and Tips” on the adjustments to college life. He stressed to the recipients, they should plan on studying at least 25 hours a week.
“We wanted to recognize and celebrate the 2018 scholarship winners' academic achievements and community service, a reception was held to formally introduce the awardees to the chapter. This allows us to publicly display our fraternity's cardinal principle of scholarship. In addition we wanted the awardees to meet one another and begin an academic network”, stated Bro. Wilson. We wanted to emphasize to them the importance of scholarship and that their hard work, perseverance and commitment to service was being rewarded.
The following Colleges and Universities will enroll our scholars in the fall.
Name High School College Attending
Parker Watts James River Barnard College at Columbia University
Lauren Taylor Parker Henrico High University of Virginia
Drew Acquaye Trinity Episcopal University of North Carolina
Nyla Jones Richmond Community Clarke Atlanta University
Jordan Anderson Murray Highland Springs North Carolina A&T
Tyrone Nelson Jr Highland Springs VCU Integrated marketing Cinema
Jordyn Walters Meadowbrook James Madison University
Marlin L Osborne Jr Richmond Community Randolph Macon College
Milleena McNeil Midlothian Virginia Tech
Ria Holloman Hermitage North Carolina A&T
Article by Bro. Michael Edwards Pictures by Bro. Daren Exum
Fort Eustis, VA- On June 3, 2018, the Brothers of Kappa Iota Iota (KII) Chapter hosted their Annual Colonel (Col.) Charles Young Scholarship Program at the Fort Eustis Club. Each year, the chapter recognizes deserving and aspiring graduating high school seniors in the form of scholarships to assist with their future education. The candidates were graded on several criteria to earn this scholarship to include, write an essay on “How to curb school shootings”, their cumulative grade point average, community service, being a great citizen, and overall academic excellence. The guest speaker was Brother James Dickens, an Air Force Captain currently serving as the Senior Program Manager, Department of Health and Human Services in Dallas, TX. Captain Dickens provided an influential message inspiring the award winners to study hard, persevere when times get tough, and utilize their support network that got them to this point. The Col. Young Scholarship Banquet is the vehicle used to present these scholarships in keeping with the rich military history and traditions this chapter was founded. Col. Young was a man who accomplished greatness in the face of adversity. The son of former slaves, Col. Young graduated top of his class at West Point Military Academy where he received his commission as an officer in the U. S. Army.
Fairfax, VA, The Bernie L. Bates Foundation and the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. are pleased to announce that in partnership with George Mason University, Fairfax, VA an endowed scholarship fund has been established.
To recognize the scholastic achievements of minority undergraduates who pursue degrees in the fields of science and engineering, the BLB Foundation, Inc. and Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter recently made a gift of $30,000 to the George Mason University Foundation, Inc., to create the Bernie L. Bates and Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter Scholarship Endowment.
The Bernie L. Bates Foundation, Inc. (BLB), a 501c(3) non-profit organization, was established exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. In partnership with the Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., BLB has maintained an active and visible presence in the Fairfax County community since 1995. Together, these organizations have provided more than $300,000 in scholarships and community activity support.
This latest effort seeks to encourage male, minority students with an aptitude for the sciences. This desire to promote such scholastic support emanates from the academic, fraternal, and professional success exhibited by members of Eta Delta Delta Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., an active and contributing chapter on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.
The provision of scholastic support for undergraduates pursuing degrees in the pure sciences such as chemistry, physics, biology, math, engineering, and technology is consistent with the tenants and goals expounded by the organizations and institution noted above.
This capstone project serves as another example of the Bernie L. Bates Foundation and the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter commitment to academic excellence and opportunity. The first scholarship recipient is expected to be selected by the fall of 2017.
Richmond, Virginia, Sunday November 13, 2017. As part of Upsilon Nu’s Achievement Week Program, Upsilon Nu’s National High School Essay Contest winner was presented and received her award. Two recipients were selected from all those that submitted this year. Bro. Stephen Wilson, Chairman of the Upsilon Nu National High School Essay Contest, thanked the parents of the contestants as well as the contestants themselves, for the high quality of their essays. He thanked the parents for supporting the contestants and the contestants themselves for tackling the essay topic. The contestants were given a standing ovation as they came forward to accept their recognition awards.
The topic of the Essay was “What Actions Can You Take to Promote Social Justice and Embrace Diversity of All People”
First place was awarded to Ms. Demya E. Preston, a senior at Highland Springs High School. Ms. Preston is planning to major in Pre-Pharmacy. She has short listed the following schools; Hampton University, James Madison University, and Maryland Eastern Shore. As the first place recipient Ms. Preston was awarded $350.00.
Second place was awarded to Mr. Tyrone Nelson, a senior at Highland Springs High School. Mr. Nelson is planning to major in Cyber Security. He has short listed the following schools; Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Maryland and Virginia Tech University. As the second place recipient Ms. Preston was awarded $250.00.
“We look forward to these outstanding students applying for our scholarships in the spring,” stated committee member Bro. David Stone. “As Ms. Preston read her essay, I was struck at how well she was able to take the topic and weave in her own thoughts on possible ways to promote social justice and at the same time embrace inclusion of other cultures,” said Bro. Gregory Lewis. The topics from our international office have become more challenging and really force the participants to apply more rigor to their essays.
Article: Bro. Michael Edwards Pictures: Bro. Jerome Jackson