L.A.M.P. Mentor Awardees, pictured above: Seated mentees (l-r): Julian Pina, Daylon Davis, Kyle Irving, Robert Alexander and Jordan Gray. Standing (l-r): Jonathan Benn, Cole Clark, LAMP mentor Michael A. Lawson, LAMP mentor Harlan Ward and mentee Conor Williams. [Photo credit: Michael Fernandez.]
On Sunday, June 1, 2014, the Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation (GZBF) hosted its annual LAMP Mentor Luncheon, at the Altadena Town and Country Club. The LAMP Mentor Class of 2014, eight African-American male high school seniors, were honored, in front of a packed house of over 250 family, friends and supporters. Over $12,500 in awards were distributed.
The keynote speaker for the event was the honorable Judy Chu, U.S. Representative for California's 32nd Congressional District. Congresswoman Chu gave a rousing presentation on the importance of confronting and overcoming obstacles, on the path to success. She also shared personal stories about her journey to become a member of the United States Congress. Her message was very clear: never give up on yourself and do not be afraid to make a stand, when you encounter injustice.
The LAMP Leadership Award recipient, Michael Lawson, implored the members of the LAMP Class of 2014 to make a commitment to study hard, outwork the competition and strive for greatness. Mr. Lawson's inspirational message captivated the audience and showed why he was chosen for the award and has been nominated, by President Barack Obama, for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as U.S. Representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The reception that preceded this year's luncheon was hosted by the honorable Jacque Robinson, Vice Mayor of Pasadena and District 1 Councilwoman. She presented the students with proclamations from the City of Pasadena, the State of California and the United States Congress. In addition, she highlighted the importance of education and the need for our community to continue mentoring our youth, as often as possible, so they can be prepared to embrace success, when the opportunity presents itself.
Attendees included State Assemblyman Chris Holden, Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Councilman John J. Kennedy and Pasadena Unified School District Board Member, Renatta Cooper. Roland Bynum, KJLH radio host, was the emcee for the event.
The eight student honorees are graduates of the award-winning GZBF LAMP Mentor Program which is a ten-month curriculum that meets from September through June. LAMP focuses on soft-skill training, with an emphasis on Leadership, Achievement, Management and Professionalism (LAMP). Successful completion of the program allowed the students to compete for the awards.
The LAMP Mentor Program is available to African-American male high school students (grades 9 - 12) who want to both attend and graduate from the college or university of their choice. There is no cost to the students or to their parents. For additional information on the Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation's LAMP Mentor Program, please visit www.gammazetaboule.org.
Pictured above (l-r): Pasadena City Council member John Kennedy, L.A.M.P. mentor Michael A. Lawson, Pasadena Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson and L.A.M.P. mentor Harlan Ward. [Photo credit: Michael Fernandez.]