300 High School Students Stand ‘For Epic Impact’ At 6th Annual Monroe College Male Empowerment Seminar


After last month’s Female Empowerment for High School students at Monroe College, yesterday it was the male high school students’ turn with their day of empowerment.

One teacher at the event said that one of her students came up to her at the conclusion of the day and said he would come to school on time and every day from now on.

The following is from Monroe College on the event:

Inspired by keynotes from renowned author, educator, and TV commentator Dr. Steve Perry and special guest WCBS-TV news anchor Maurice Dubois, as well as remarks from achieving freshmen from the Monroe College Empowerment Institute (EI), more than three-hundred high school boys left the college’s sixth annual male empowerment seminar with a renewed sense of resolve and purpose.

Thursday’s event in the Mintz Auditorium on the Monroe College campus, dubbed Stand… for Epic Impact!, included teen boys from ten Bronx high schools: Bronx Latin, Alfred E. Smith HS, Wings Academy, Mott Hall NYC, New Visions Charter HS for the Humanities, Truman HS, Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports, Academy for Language and Technology, HS for Media Communications, and Mott Hall BX.

During the four-plus hour seminar, the young men had the opportunity to speak with mentors from the worlds of business, education, criminal justice, and more about what it takes to be successful.

Dr Steve Perry addresses over 300 participants for Monroe College's 6th Annual Male Empowerment Seminar/Image Courtesy Monroe College
Renowned author, educator, and TV commentator Dr Steve Perry addresses over 300 participants for Monroe College’s 6th Annual Male Empowerment Seminar/Image Courtesy Monroe College / Image Courtesy of Monroe College

They also heard Dr. Perry talk about seizing opportunities and realizing potential.  “I came here today because I believe in you,” he said.  “There’s something beautiful and capable within you.  But we can believe it all we want, but you have to have the courage to show it.”

After talking about how his parents sacrificed so their children could achieve in life and how he once worked flipping burgers in a fast food joint, Mr. Dubois told the young men, “When people are complimentary to me and say what I do looks natural, you guys know it isn’t natural,” he said.  “It’s not natural.  Whatever it is, you’ve got to work at it and perfect it and keep honing it and honing it.  Whether building bridges, making speeches, or doing artwork, you have to work at it every single day.  There’s no time to sit back.”

At the end of the speeches, the mentors pinned custom-designed EI pins on the teenagers, along with a pledge to develop ‘competence, confidence’ and character.’

“The statistics show alarming dropout rates of young men of color,” said Dr. Cecil Wright, who founded Male Empowerment at Monroe, “and the best way we know to combat those is through mentorship and role modeling.  I have no doubt that when the event ended today, many of these high school boys will be motivated to attend college and lead productive lives. “


Founded in 1933, New York-based Monroe College is a nationally ranked private institution of higher learning with a real world learning approach that prioritizes hands-on academic experiences, practical and relevant academic programs, flexible learning schedules, best-in-class instructional technologies, and committed and engaged faculty to ensure that students are well positioned for career success upon graduation. Monroe is among the leading higher education institutions in the country for graduating minority students.

Monroe College offers Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs. It has campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, as well as in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, with programs offered through its Schools of Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Nursing, Education, Business & Accounting, Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, and Allied Health Professions, as well as through its liberal arts and continuing education programs, and its King Graduate School. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit http://www.monroecollege.edu

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.