Los Medanos College’s Male Empowerment Network celebrated their accomplishments by displaying their camaraderie proudly in the indoor quad Wednesday evening, May 10. The MEN program, meant to push men of color attending LMC to further their education, has created an outlet of resources for these students to thrive in their educational journey.
This end of the year celebration was to toast to the achievements of everyone involved in the program, including an assortment of LMC faculty, students and staff.
The event started with dinner and dessert. Students sat at the tables and socialized with one another as they ate. The crowd quieted however when it was time for speakers to come up.
Minority Student Retention Specialist Marques McCoy who led and coordinated the event was the first to express his satisfaction with the program.
McCoy said the program has come a long way. He also pointed out that this event was “a testament of all the work being done.”
McCoy acknowledged the growth of the program noting that the program jumped from 32 members to 54 since last year.
Afterward, President Bob Kratochvil gave a charismatic speech echoing the sentiments of McCoy, speaking on the importance of having such a source of information and encouragement on campus.
The emcee of the event, student Rodney Kelley then called on attendees to testify to the many way the program has helped them. Student Keymere Brown said, “This program really helped me,” he said holding back tears. “I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for this…. this is a great program”
Student Services Manager Carlas Rosas was coaxed into saying a few words about her experiences with the program, thanking those who had a hand in making it a successful and worthy cause.
“I wanted to thank you all for your commitments,” said Rosas, also expressing gratitude for members of the organization for “always making it feel like a family.”
She acknowledged that this familiar closeness is a key factor in both her culture and the cultures of the members of MEN.
At the end of her reflection, she added, “Nothing has been more impactful than to hear all your stories,” said Rosas.
The mentors working for the program as well as their protégé’s got a chance to voice their gratitude and acknowledge what it has done for them.
After certificates were given out, MEN members gathered around the podium for group pictures, which President Kratochvil volunteered to take.
After group pictures was a raffle in which several students won games for either a Playstation 3 or 4 game console.
Before the crowd dispersed, McCoy left the audience with this final thought saying “Remember the people who believed you and the person who believed you.”