Campus News

Regents fund professor’s mentoring program for African-American males

A UGA counseling professor’s program designed to mentor and motivate young African-­American adolescent males to strive for academic success has received a financial boost to continue its work from the University System Board of Regents.

College of Education assistant professor Deryl Bailey’s “Project Gentlemen on the Move” was one of 10 winning programs selected from 19 proposals that competed for $200,000 in grant funding through the regents’ African-American Male Initiative.

The AAMI is designed to support programs that help increase the number of African-­American males admitted to the state’s 34 colleges and universities with grants ranging from $15,000 to $30,000. The UGA program was allocated $15,000. Other funded programs are based at Augusta State, Fort Valley State, Georgia College and State, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, and Valdosta State universities; Coastal Georgia Community, and Georgia Perimeter colleges; and the University of West ­Georgia.

This is the second time the AAMI has funded Bailey’s program. Two years ago, the regents awarded PGOTM a $10,000 grant out of the $250,000 the state legislature allocated for the initiative’s debut in 2003.

This year’s grants had a new requirement-matching funds. Each University System of Georgia institution receiving an AAMI 2005-2006 year grant must match their award amount, dollar for dollar.

Bailey began developing his award-winning program some 16 years ago as a high school counselor in North Carolina. It focuses on providing tutoring and support to young black high school-aged men to stay in school, enroll in college preparatory classes and continue into higher education. The program has been funded by UGA, partnering public school districts and community donations. Through the design and implementation of a comprehensive program that addresses the multiple issues faced by young black men, the program has won local, regional and national awards for its success.

About 60 Athens area students participate in PGOTM through important components such as:

  • Saturday Academies. Throughout the year, participants gather at one of the participating high schools or UGA for workshops to help them achieve success both academically and socially.
  • Semester Exam Lock-In. Each semester, local teachers, UGA professors and graduate students conduct an overnight semester exam lock-in in which participants engage in intensive study sessions on exam topics, mixed with relaxation breaks to help them re-charge.

Although the program has won local, regional and national awards, Bailey, his fellow UGA professors, graduate students and the local teachers involved in conducting workshops and activities for the program are largely unfunded. They provide the services on a volunteer basis with occasional support from external funds.

Bailey says he is appreciative of the grant but seeks additional funding for faculty and graduate student research time that will be directed toward empirical investigation into the success of the program.