Philly alumni fraternity holds signing day for students in mentor achievement program

It's signing day for a group of young men heading to college or toward a military education. It's part of their completion of the Guide Right program under the Philadelphia Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity's Achievement Academy.

"I'm very excited. I've already connected with people that will be going there in the fall," said Langston Payne. He’s one of six teens recognized for completing the program.

"It's helped me define my leadership skills and figure out as a Black man how to be in society and know that we have to be sharp," said Langston. He’s heading to Hampton University in Virginia. He'll be studying computer science.

"I leave Friday morning. I'll be doing a pre-college program for five weeks where I will earn six credits early," he said. His proud mom, Natalie Payne, signed him up for the fraternity's mentorship program when he was in sixth grade.

"I wanted him to be around other men that were going to challenge him and in a positive environment and that's what they did. Twice a month from September to about May or June they have meetings, do things on the weekend and retreats. These men really cared and poured into these young boys," she said.

The fraternity provided dinner for the families, the students received awards, monetary gifts, signed an oath of excellence and they spoke about their future plans.

"I'm going to attend Temple University and a degree in computer science," said another teen.

Pastor Alyn Waller of Enon Baptist Church was the guest speaker.

"See yourself walking across the graduation stage now, see yourself passing the classes and see yourself making a difference on campus," he said.

The men of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. say it's a celebration of the youth's commitment to the program.

"Being a part of this program means that they're invested in their life skills and building those capabilities," said Marquies Carter.

"We are mentoring, we are giving them life skills. We are asking them to partake in community service, to understand what it means to be a young man and then to grow into manhood," said Derrick Dow.

For more information on the mentorship program, visit the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's Achievement Academy website.