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Project Guide Right

Champion in Health Care Continuing to “Be The One”

By Project Guide Right

Over 30 years of service in our community has allowed us to understand and be in touch with important issues. One of the main issues that affect our community at large and specifically the male population is the availability and use of health care opportunities. One major problem in the Black Community is prostate cancer and how it affects our men. Compared with white men, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease. Additionally, when you add the Black male’s tendency to avoid health services until absolutely necessary increases the deadly impact this form of cancer has.

African American men are at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer over white men and other men of color. One in seven African American men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. Overall, African American men are 1.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with—and 2.1 times more likely to die from—prostate cancer than white men. African American men are also slightly more likely than white men to be diagnosed with advanced disease due to the aforementioned avoidance of doctor’s visits.

So, what can be done to change the behaviors of our men and provide increased chances of detection prior to late-stage development? Through the power of partnership and relationship building, we have been able to establish a program with Dattoli Cancer Foundation and the Sarasota Public Library System – (North Sarasota) to provide cancer awareness, education, and detection services. Our free prostate cancer screenings and informational pamphlets attract all men from all races and have served thousands of residents in our community. Our program has been proven to be one of the most impactful, relevant, and life-changing events in our community host.

We are not the only group that believes in this important service as we can not do this without the help and support of partner organizations. We however are the uniting force that brings this needed service to the community each year as we try to “Be The One” that provides the initiative and the commitment to serve. We strive to improve our community and be the one at the center of serving our fellow man/woman.

Project Guide Right, Inc. Continuing to “Be The One”

By Project Guide Right

“Be The One” is more than a slogan at Sarasota-Bradenton Project Guide Right Foundation…it is a way of life! Every day we strive to embody the spirit and actions of making our community a better place to live, grow, and prosper. From the youngest (Infant safety programs) to the teens (youth skill development & team sports) to young adults (scholarships to college), and adults (male Prostate screenings, family food & clothing donations, and health & wellness programs). If we can help, we are busy “Being The One” to lend a helping hand.

In 2021 through a generous donor through the Manatee Community Foundation, we decided to adopt two local little league teams in Bradenton and Palmetto. The Manatee Mustangs and The Palmetto Pride teams.  Our charitable contribution not only helps the two respected programs, but our relationship with both organizations is also stronger than ever and will only help us continue to Be The One in our community. We are extremely grateful to have fosters a positive relationship with the Manatee Community Foundation and we look forward to continuing to “Be The One” in our community.

On April 26-27, 2022 from noon to noon, please visit www.givingchallenge.org to donate to Sarasota-Bradenton Kappa Alpha Psi Project Guide Right, Inc., and help us continue to “Be The One” The Giving Challenge is hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

Giving Challenge Story 2022

By Project Guide Right

There is a significant crisis in the minority communities around the country as it relates to the underachievement occurring for Black males. The statistics are alarming pointing to further degradation in opportunities and progress towards aspirational growth and achievement.

Community action is required to change the environment and it starts with individual actions and commitment. We were fortunate to partner with the Giving Challenge in 2020 which provided a vehicle for giving that our donors responded to and made a huge difference in young, disadvantaged men’s lives! Donors give to causes that touch their hearts and many donors are touched by the opportunity to help others overcome obstacles they may have faced in their past. Our donors saw young men committing themselves to a self-help program and were inspired and motivated to help. The Giving Challenge platform made that support possible where otherwise it may not have existed.

The following statistics point to a need for intervention measures to stop the downward spiral and create/inspire a new reality for this major demographic in our community.

  • 46% of Florida minority households are struggling to make ends meet.
  • Minority communities typically make up the smaller percentage of groups accessing higher education and/or technical degrees due to financial shortfalls. This reality does not
    bode well for future upward mobility and prosperity.
  • 65% of Florida jobs will require a degree or technical credentials by 2025.
  •  Black male reading levels at 3rd grade are well below average and a leading indicator of future assimilation issues into mainstream America.
  • Black males continue to score at the lowest end of all measures of achievement, improvement, and access to educational opportunities and benefits.
  • Florida faces a talent gap, with jobs increasingly requiring education beyond high school.
  • Florida must boost education attainment—especially for our most vulnerable students—so we don’t fall behind.
  • Well-paying jobs with opportunities for growth require education or training past high school.
  • New solutions must be created & developed to address this growing chasm of failure.

SBPGR Foundation is keenly aware of this foreboding reality and is taking direct action to address it head-on and make a difference. In order to begin changing the dialog and addressing the downward trends, we encouraged and engage the public to help through donations to help us fund our highly acclaimed training syllabus specifically created to address many aspects of deficient behaviors.

We engaged in 2020 Giving Challenge with the purpose of raising funds specifically for the use of our Kappa League program to provide the following:

  • Weekly meetings to teach, train, mentor, and coach young men of color in various fields of study
  • Provide a lecture series that includes prominent educators, motivational speakers, athletes, religious leaders, health & wellness experts, and other positive influencers to show alternative and aspirational images
  • Provide travel experiences to training and educational clinics for unique life experiences

We then asked the parents and the children to gather their supporters to rally behind them and contribute the most funds in a contest to raise the most funds for themselves and the organization.

The Giving Challenge program was a smashing success! Our Kappa Leaguers were able to raise over $8,000 for their support of the programs and secured funding for learning opportunities that would have never existed. The Giving Challenge and the donors made the difference. Without this well-known and trusted vehicle forgiving, the process would have been much more challenging and difficult to enact. Our donors came together for the purpose of making a difference in the young men’s lives and they did it in an outstanding fashion! We look forward to even greater participation in 2022!

As Covid-19 has turned traditional fundraising, philanthropy and in-person events upside down. In this new environment locally our fraternity brothers through hard work and dedication persevered by continuing to impact the lives of students in our community. On April 10, 2021, our foundation hosted its 38th Annual Steve Lewis Achievement Awards Ceremony.

Hosting this event during the pandemic presented many challenges as people were still in fear to gather as new variants of COVID continued to emerge but with the creativity and perseverance of our brothers and community members we were able to host our event at our community center outside in open air and the with the ability to social distance safely.

This year, the fraternity presented seven scholarships and to date, has awarded over $208,000 in scholarships. We also recognized the citizens of the year from Sarasota and Manatee County, Olympia Baylou CEO of Blooming Impressions, and Manatee County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy. Scholarship recipients were DeMario Antwon Evans, Jr. Julian Jerold Gauthier. Zorian Veshawn Geathers, Kaivon Jamal Moran, Reid Anderson Pitts. Myles Edward Woodard and Jabrielle Nelson who received our nursing award, which this year was extremely unique that a male student applied for the award this year. Our brothers and board members did a fantastic job working with all of the local candidates making sure their GPAs were qualified and all applicants were accepted to a 4-year college or technical school and were ready for our prestigious event.

Being able t sustain our project guide program of mentorship and giving only cultivates trust in our community as we continue to impact our community one day at a time.