March 2019 proved to be an exciting month for Omega U students/mentees. In addition to regularly scheduled “weekly shop” activities, STEM based learning and trips of historic and educational nature, several program directors focused on wellness activities. The intent was to mentally and physically stimulate the mentees with an expected outcome of healthy and positive living.
The Omega U Program exposed students to guest speakers and past Omega U students for the month of March. The guest speakers included Private First Class Adrian Gore and Bro. Will Varick. PFC Gore is an active duty Soldier in the United States Army and was previously an Omega U mentee. He shared life experiences based on his time in Omega U and how it helped prepare him for his decision to enlist in the Army, serve his country and live on his own as a young adult.
Bro. Will Varick, an undergraduate at Virginia State University shared his life experiences as a college student and member of Omega Psi Phi. He helped the mentees understand the impact of life choices and the challenges of life on a Historically Black College and University campus. His perspective was well received, and he entertained many questions from the students.
PLL and the Omega U Program embarked on a Yoga experience on March 3rd, 2019 at Potomac Middle School with a class by Coach LaRonda. Yoga is a way of living that aims towards a healthy mind in a healthy body. Students learned basic yoga techniques that helped them understand their energies in becoming exuberant and sensing your body movements. In addition, students learned the benefits of Yoga that includes improvement in brain function, lower stress levels, increased flexibility, lower blood pressure, improved lung capacity, anxiety relief, improved sense of balance, and strength conditioning.
Finally, another highlight in March for our Omega U program was the selection of Brother Stephen Blakely, Fred Lynn Middle School as the Omega U Teacher of the Year. Brother Blakely is a 50-year member of Omega having pledged at Tau Upsilon chapter in 1969. He is a member of Pi Lambda Lambda and serves as Omega U Director at Fred Lynn Middle School where he is also on staff as a teacher.
Omega U is the youth mentorship program of Pi Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. This program currently serves over 180 students in eighteen elementary, middle, and high schools across Prince William County. During the past three years, the Omega U Program has executed over 140 hours of community service, 400 hours of weekend mentoring events, 480 hours of after school mentoring, and has provided total man-hours valued over $200K to PWC schools since 2016 and more than $600K since 2009. Prince William County School district is the 2nd largest school system in the state of Virginia, and the 4th largest in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Over this period, students of Omega U executed student led INOVA Hospital Blood Drives, Feeding the Homeless, Highway Cleanup, annual support of the National Public Lands Day at Leesylvania State Park and Wreath Laying on Veteran’s Day at the National Military Cemetery in Quantico, Virginia. Omega U is open to all male youths from 3rd grade to graduating seniors and targets students’ enrollment from single parent families.
The Omega U Program mission is to serve, support, and partner with the Prince William County Public Schools by offering a “Word Class Education” with after school and weekend mentoring initiatives that includes STEM based programs, the Omega U Flight Drone Program, the Radio Controlled Race Car Program, Pre-College Initiative (PCI), Career Readiness workshops, college field trips, and health and sports initiatives.
In 2018, Omega U became a National Society of Black Engineer Junior Chapter serving PWC partnering with Virginia State University, Virginia Tech University, Northern Virginia Community College, and George Mason University. In July 2018, Omega U student scholars from single-parent families attended a week-long Engineering Camp at Virginia Tech, College of Engineering. Omega U students enjoyed this experience at no-cost to their families and lived on campus for one week while attending engineering, physics, and science classes with hands-on labs to foster a better understanding and increased knowledge in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
The Omega U Youth Academy Program continues to grow and foster a wonderful youth experience for students in PWC and the Northern Virginia and Metropolitan area, and is a leading youth academy program for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Pi Lambda Lambda is a graduate chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., an international nonprofit social and civic service organization that has over more than 700 chapters with 100,000 members in 15 countries worldwide. Since the Chapter’s founding in Dumfries, VA, in January 2004, PLL has supported public and community events across the region, benefiting scholarship, health promotion, youth mentorship, citizenship and social action. PLL has previously been named the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. International Chapter of the Year for three separate years since the Chapter’s founding. PLL is honored with this most prestigious honor bestowed by the fraternity.
Pi Lambda Lambda serves Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and Manassas Park.