PDK Highlights The Mission & Youth Initiatives of 100 Black Men of Savannah

Dr. Leroy Zke Zimmerman
Dr. Leroy Zke Zimmerman
The plight of minorities, especially African American males, is well documented in social, economic, education, and health data of our community and nation. On February 6, 2018, at Southwest Regional Library Auditorium, Phi Delta Kappa International Chapter 1219 presented the opportunity for interested educators and the community to increase their awareness of how the programs and activities of 100 Black Men of Savannah positively impacts the lives of young men. Dr. Leroy Zke Zimmerman, Retired Administrator, Military Colonel and Purple Heart Recipient, who is Immediate Past President of the organization, provided information about the mentoring, economic empowerment, education, collegiate, and health activities provided for empowering youth to become self-sufficient strong community citizens, leaders, and professionals. Dr. Zimmerman identified specific activities initiated by the 100 Black Men of Savannah, Inc. to address youth competencies in academics, economics, health/wellness, and leadership. Academic achievements are promoted through programs that extend from elementary to the collegiate level. “Wings” is a comparatively new initiative at the elementary level serving some schools on a weekly basis. “Building Bridges” and “Pathways to Success” serves Middle School students. The “Youth Leadership Academy” serves high school students who either elect or are selected to participate. Students make scheduled contacts at the Middle and high school level twice a month. Currently, the programs on high school level are focused at Johnson and Woodville-Tompkins. The Collegiate 100 is one of the initiatives to serve college students. The four collegiate chapters are Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University in addition to Savannah State University Support is provided across disciplines on every level and Collegiate 100 also provides meeting and networking opportunities. Students are recognized for their academic achievements and scholarships are regularly awarded to offset expenses such as tuition, books, and housing.

The 22nd Annual Gala being held on April 21, 2018 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront is the sole fund raiser held annually to support scholarships. A diverse group of professionals are involved in Summer Camps, mentoring, formal dinner dress and etiquette, trips to the capital, and “Courts in Session” to assist in building understanding of how systems work. Applications, volunteer opportunities, sponsorship, and other information are found at info@100blackmenofsavannah.org.

Fostering the economic empowerment involves academic preparedness and an experiential approach concentrated at the high school level. An “Economic Empowerment Program” in partnership with Windsor Forest High School introduces high school students to the theory and practice of wealth building. the objectives are met through classroom instruction, workshops, mentoring and shadowing business people. The “100 Wall Street Mentoring Club” is led by a certified financial planner and it has successfully grown capital for distribution to the student participants for college costs.

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