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Moreno Valley College Herald

MVC scholars receive more than $10,000 in scholarships at A2Mend conference

A2mend Coordinator Jamaal Brown and MVC scholarship recipient Gregory McClendon
A2mend Coordinator Jamaal Brown and MVC scholarship recipient Gregory McClendon

MVC students Brandon Blackmore, Jamonte Collins, Gregory McClendon, and Brandon Warren were among the awardees of the African American Male Education Network and Development (A2mend) scholarship on March 14th. A2mend is a program throughout the state geared to supporting young African American male students within the community college system through the provision of resources, mentorship, and guidance in college and through the process of transferring to a four-year university.

The program focuses on three pillars; charter membership, mentorship, and the leadership academy program. The A2mend scholarship is awarded to those students who exhibit exemplary skills such as academic achievement and demonstrated leadership skills.

MVC is part of thirty-six community colleges in California that take part in the A2mend program. A2mend was started in the early 2000s by a group of men looking to help other young males with mentoring, networking, and development skills. “We are looking to expand the charter into community colleges around many different states,” A2mend Coordinator Jamaal Brown shared.

A2mend Coordinator Jamaal Brown and MVC scholarship recipient Gregory McClendonshared.

Since this program has been created, A2mend has given over $1 million in scholarship money to students all over California community colleges. This year so far A2mend has given $60,000 in scholarship money to students.

“Knowing that I got the opportunity and that I was even able to get this money both to further my education and to put it towards my future and family is just a very big thing for me,” said A2mend scholarship recipient, Gregory McClendon.  “It’s going to help me take care of myself and the people that I care about.”

“It gives me a sense of recognition. We put in a lot of work and time at events, … so being able to receive a scholarship for everything that we put in, gives you kind of an incentive to put in more hard work,” A2mend scholarship recipient, Jamonte Collins said. “Just being able to look back 40 years from now and see the scholarship hanging on the wall, that’s big, no one else in my family has received a scholarship so it was dope.”

A2mend Coordinator Jamaal Brown and MVC scholarship recipient Jamonte Collins

Brown, described the program as a brotherhood, providing a space for male students to be comfortable asking for help and getting mentorship. “Our mentorship component is where any student in a California community college that wants a mentor can have one,” Brown said. He went on to explain that being a part of the program is truly his life’s work. “I feel like this type of work, helping to ensure the success of young people is what I am here on earth to do, connecting with the young men seeing their growth and development.”

Although A2mend is focused on the development of young African American males, any male student looking for mentorship and brotherhood at their community college can join.

“I feel like a lot of African American males need support. They need somebody to talk to specifically about furthering themselves. I feel the program genuinely wants to help you, you just have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone,” McClendon said. “They want to keep you on the right track and help one another and that’s nice to know.”

“Us young black men are behind, we have a lack of structure and education so having this program and mentors we have access to, who are doing what they’re supposed to in our proximity is vital, if we want to not get left behind in the world, that’s why I take it seriously,” Collins said.


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