On October 15, 2023, the Alpha Esquires partnered with the Black Surfers Collective to participate in our very first Pan African Beach Day – An Intro to Surfing. An amazing time was had. Some of the boys had rarely frequented the beach and surely had never been on a surfboard. One of the missions of Alpha Esquires Inc. is to provide our mentees with experiences outside of their normal routine. Surfing was definitely an unique adventure which left each mentee eagerly awaiting their next lesson.
On September 23, 2023, we had our first workshop of the season, “The Definition of Manhood” facilitated by Taquan Stewart Phd. What an event! The classroom was packed and the energy was high. Dr Stewart had the boys participate in a fire writing session which resulted in them defining how they believed a man should behave. Through a series of poems and videos, the Esquires walked away with tools they could use daily. It was wonderful to see them work together to achieve a common goal.
On September 9, 2023, we had our 2023/2024 Alpha Esquires Kickoff! Twenty Eight Esquires were in attendance and five new Esquires applied on the spot. It was a great day of interaction with the Esquires, parents, and mentors, which concluded with the Esquires advising what career paths they would like to take, what they wanted to gain from the program, and compiling a list of fun activities they would like to do. The Kickoff was a grand success.
On August 5, 2023, the Esquires participated in a Paint & Sparkling Cider Sip, facilitated by Errol Cook Esq., at his art gallery Counsel & Canvas. Most of the Esquires had never held a paint brush before. Errol walked them through the class which resulted in them creating a piece inspired by Marvel’s Black Panther
One of the Education Enhancement Modules of Alpha Esquires is Financial Literacy and Investment, instructed by Jamelle Nelson, CPA. During the module, Jamelle provides an overview of the stock market and explains debt to income ratio. When the module concludes, the Esquires have an opportunity to make an investment of any amount they choose. The program design calls for Jamelle to educate the Esquires regarding their investment when their quarterly statements arrive. Esquires can opt out at any time.
The purpose is to provide the Esquires an opportunity to earn their own scholarship money while concurrently learning how to invest.
Pictured is Esquire Kelvin Andrews. Kelvin became an Esquire when he was in the 8th Grade. In the 9th Grade Kelvin participated in the Financial Literacy and Investment module, investing $100.00. In the Fall of 2023, Kelvin will be enrolled in the College of Business at Clark Atlanta University. On July 18, 2023, Kelvin cashed out his account with Jamelle and received a check in the amount of $4,833.34! That’s a pretty get return from a $100.00 investment!
The Esquires took their annual trip to the Pasadena Playhouse to enjoy live theater. This year we attended a viewing of the Pulitzer Prize nominated play “Stew”. Afterwards we had a debrief with the Esquires and it was amazing to hear their critical analysis of the play. Mentoring matters. Exposure to culture matters.
On July 1, 2023, The Alpha Esquires hosted the 3rd Annual Ice Cream & Game Truck Social. We are pleased to announce it was a huge success. The community came out in large numbers to support the program, the Esquires and their friends had a blast in the Game Truck, and the adults entertained themselves playing cards in the backyard. Local DJ “Cornbread” kept the crowd entertained and atmosphere electric, and as an added bonus, licensed barber Anthony Bertram provided the Esquires free haircuts. 100% of all proceeds will go toward year round Alpha Esquires programming.
Last night the Esquires closed out the season with a Mentor and Mentee dinner at Post & Beam. The Mentors facilitated a dining etiquette workshop and awarded the graduating Esquires with scholarships. Esquire Kelvin Andrews will begin his pursuit of higher education at Clark Atlanta University, with Esquire Dylan Branch Across the street at Morehouse College. Special thanks to Brandon and Nicole Miller of Stepping In the Right Direction for providing the Black Grad Boxes.
After a year and a half of not being able to program due to the pandemic, on October 23, 2021, the Esquires relaunched with our annual pancake breakfast fundraiser. It was an overwhelming success. It was good to be back among the boys. Stay tuned for upcoming events! We appreciate your support!
Councilman Al Austin invited the Esquires to his campaign office to discuss the importance of community advocacy and being an active participant in the political process in order to effect positive change.