The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Town hall meeting stresses mentoring

By Jon Minsloff/reporter

The low success rate of young African-Americans in public schools and in college could be helped by mentoring, a panel of experts said last month.

The Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education sponsored the town hall meeting Mentoring African-Americans in Higher Education Feb. 26 on South Campus. A student, several teachers, an engineer and South Campus President Dr. Ernest L. Thomas comprised the panel discussing mentoring in the community.

Public speaker Vincent Lewis Hall acted as moderator. Whether in school or in his different career positions, like his 26-year employment with AT&T Communications, Hall always had someone to guide him and show him the ropes.

“I always have a mentor somewhere,” Hall said. He said his support for mentoring programs, formal or not, comes from these experiences. “It’s time to give back,” he said.

Each panel member had similar views on the importance of mentoring, but responses varied depending on their personal experiences.

Carter S. Bedford, associate director of Student Governance and Organizations at UT-Arlington, said he receives the personal fulfillment from being a mentor through mentoring programs he works with at UTA.

Thomas and the other panelists stressed the importance of family and the responsibility of parents to raise their kids, not to let television or music do it for them. Teachers gave examples of how they have acted as parents to the students in school.

The audience became more involved as the discussion continued. Through their responses, they agreed that members of the African-American community can always look to one another for help in solving the problems they face.

Hall said one issue preventing community assistance is that successful African-Americans move out of their neighborhoods.

“We get any money, and we ship our kids off to private schools,” he said.

This phenomenon just divides the community even more, Hall said.

Thomas offered a solution when asked what the community needed to do and how TCC and its members can help keep African-Americans in school.

“Start our own program — tomorrow,” he said. “It should have started yesterday.”

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