On March 27, 2019, the men of Psi Alpha Alpha (PsiAA) Chapter, Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. conducted their ManUP mentoring program by speaking to 25 students from Mt. Vernon High School in Fairfax Virginia about military, college, goal setting, aerospace, and pursuit of excellence. Speakers of this lecture series had various backgrounds and military experience that they used to engage, empower, educate, and exposed the students to different strategies for success. The speakers included Bro. LTC. Chester Keller, LTC. Louis P. Hawkins, Bro. MAJ Melake Whyte, MAJ Herbert Gamble. The ManUP mentoring program is a male mentoring program sponsored by the men of Psi Alpha Alpha of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. The MANUP program partners with Mt. Vernon High School, West Potomac High School, and Gum Springs in Fairfax Virginia and has over 60 students ranging from 6th grade to graduating seniors in their program. The program consists of mentoring students thru exposure to various careers and pre-college initiatives by way of lecture series and field trips throughout the scholastic calendar year.
Bro. LTC Chester Keller spoke to students about his humble beginnings and the level of perseverance needed to excel in life. LTC Keller is a Program Manager Acquisitions officer in the United States Army. His message to the students was centered on meeting the daily challenges and pursuit of excellence in all matters with consistent effort. LTC Keller read two poems, ‘See It Through” by author Edgar Albert Guest and “If” by Rudyard Kipling.
Aviation and Acquisition Officer LTC Louis P. Hawkins gave an empowering oration on setting goals, dreaming big, taking action, and never giving up. He gave a personal testimony and journey of being an Aviation Officer in flying helicopters for search and rescue missions. In addition, he focused on careers in the aerospace industry and the need for more diversity for African American and Latino men and women.
Maj. Herbert Gamble spoke to students about performing, image, and exposure (PIE). His focus examined the concepts of PIE and putting forth the right energy and effort to obtain goals. In addition, Maj. Gamble spoke to students about having more than 1 goal – as life often does not work out as originally planned. Maj. Gamble serves as a Program Management Acquisitions Officer for the United States Army.
Maj. Melake Whyte currently serves as a Human Resource Officer for the United States Army. He connected to the students by using his unique background of being a first-generation American. Maj. Whyte ran track collegiately at Oregon University and later joined the military. He challenged the students to not settle on being a product from their community, but to shape their community by being leaders and doers. In addition, he also urged students to not waste their talents and to live up to all their potential in all avenues they pursue.