African American Male Academy helps young men in Memphis-Shelby County Schools achieve new heights

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Helping young Black men reach high school and beyond is the main goal of the African American Male Academy with Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

The program helps 8th-grade men get an early feel of what to expect in college. Michael Lowe, Director of Equity and Access with MSCS, told FOX13 the lessons each participant learns.

“Learn how to grow, learn how to have a sense of belonging, and be on campus in a college atmosphere,” said Lowe.

The program targets students in middle school getting ready for high school. Lowe said it’s because young men are in a pivotal part of life.

“Some of our students are still playing with toys watching cartoons and some of them are beginning to get into puberty and other things,” said Lowe.

Students have to apply and it’s only for young men in the 8th grade. 50 men are then selected to join the program. Participants will take part in various activities, get more academic exposure, career preparation, and gain mentors all in hopes of setting the men on a path towards college. Lowe told FOX13 that the program also hopes to sway some participants into a career in education.

“It’s a great need,” said Lowe.

FOX13 spoke with a few men who are currently in the program. Dustin Bobo and Elijah Brinson are sophomores at White Station High School. Bobo told FOX13 that, since joining the program, he’s able to speak out more about topics he used to not want to talk about. Brinson said the program gave him a new outlook on school.

“I knew I had to do good in school, but I never really tried to enjoy it,” said Brinson. “Keep myself sort of practicing, keep myself talking about things that we talked about in the program and learning from the lessons that they taught me,” said Bobo.

If you have a student that wants to participate, applications are accepted through September 30th. Click this link to learn more about the program and to apply.