An Enriching Opportunity

The College of Central Florida offers young black men the chance to be mentored by business and community leaders.

Black males in grades seven through 11, and their parents, are invited to an enrichment conference at the College of Central Florida (CF) to discuss relevant issues and access community programs to help young African Americans in their growth and education.

The event will begin with registration and a resource fair at 5pm on February 20th, with a meal and program from 6 to 8pm, in the Ewers Century Center at 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. It will include giveaways and a chance to win a CF scholarship.

To get more information about the “Dare to Dream: Black Male Enrichment Conference,” we spoke with the event’s organizers.

Why is the college hosting this event?

At CF, we are committed to providing opportunities for all community members. Charles McIntosh, Dean of Criminal Justice and Public Service, and Lisa Smith, Director of Student Support Services, recognized the need to reach young black males and family members with information about higher education and provide resources to help them on their journey toward college. McIntosh and Smith received a grant from the CF Foundation in May 2019 to host this event.

“We are fully focused on student success,” says McIntosh. “It is important that we establish networks that empower these young men and their parents.”

Who will be sharing success stories and offering guidance?

Forest High School alumnus Anthony D. Thomas, managing partner of Thomas Thomas Law LLC in Tallahassee, will share his journey from growing up in Ocala to becoming a corporate lawyer. The group facilitators are attorney Michael Mills of Graham and Mills, Attorneys at Law in Orlando, and Maj. Earl Filmore Jr., CF and Lake Weir High School alumnus and director of Military Services and Affairs for Bethune-Cookman University. They will promote higher education, career exploration and self-development.

What are some resources that will be highlighted?

CF Admissions, Financial Aid, Dual Enrollment and the college-owned Appleton Museum of Art, along with programs that can include mentoring and scholarship opportunities, such as the U.S. Department of Education’s Talent Search, the local Take Stock in Children program and others.

Is this a free event?

Yes. Dinner and refreshments will be provided.

How can young men register? At and also at the door.

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