SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Saturday January 21, 2017 over 140 young men converged on Wilmer Amina Carter High School campus for their first inaugural “Young Men’s Leadership Conference.” The theme was adopted as “Manhood is not a Game, Manhood is about my A – Game.” The African American Advisory Council (AAPAC) enlisted collaboration from community-based organizations including: State Senator Connie Leyva; Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes; PAL Center; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.; Young Visionaries; and the Youth Action Project. AAPAC mission is “To empower young men to realize their potential and leadership abilities, through positive interaction with other young men and male leadership within the community.”
The PAL Charter Academy High School accepted the invitation from Carter High School along with Kolb, Rialto, and Kucera Middle Schools in bringing students to this event. The students were very engaged with great speakers and presenters on various topics such as You Inc.- Finance my Future, Code Switching, Being the Real Boss- Entrepreneurship, and Social Activism which left strong impressions on the young men.
When asked what he gained from the experience student Edward Orrego replied “I already started teaching my little brother some of the things I learned about being a man. I tell him you have to look the part and do your best.”
Student Jeremiah Cook said he learned that he is an “Anomaly – the exception” and to never give up. One of the highlights of the day was the male involvement group the FELLAS – who “MAN MOB” on campuses across the I.E. providing encouragement, love, and support for all students. There is an old saying “iron sharpens iron and a man is sharpened by the countenance of his brother.” The Young Men’s Leadership Conference exemplifies real men stepping up to make a difference in the lives of our young men. PAL Center Community Coordinator, Edward Brantley said “This is the first of many events to come.”