Gordon State AAMI Kicks Off 2018-19 Year


Jordan and James English are excited to think that they might be two of the newest members of the Gordon State College African American Male Initiative (AMMI.)

“We think it will be a great networking opportunity and a chance to meet people and make new friends,” said James. “We’re both interested in becoming computer engineers and having a mentor help us achieve our goals will really help.”

AAMI is a University System of Georgia initiative designed to increase the number of African-American males who complete their postsecondary education from any of the 26 USG institutions. Its mission is to provide an integrated program model of academic and social tools that support students around adopting a positive mindset to successfully complete classes, elevate their cumulative GPAs, matriculate through each academic level and graduate.

Jordan and James, who are twins from Clayton County, joined 50 other  AAMI hopefuls in a kick-off celebration Wednesday evening. 

The young men heard from many who pledged their support including GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks; Bob Wise, University System of Georgia AAMI Assistant Project Director and the Rev. Craig Ogletree of Barnesville, an Auburn University alumnus, a former member of the Tigers football team, former Cincinnati Bengal and the evening’s keynote speaker.

Ogletree asked the young men to stand tall, be all they could be and “don’t be afraid to ask for help because the room is full of people who will help you on your journey.”

Other speakers included Ryran Traylor, GSC AAMI sponsor and AAMI Director; student Ouontavious Harper, member of AAMI Scholar, mentor, and ambassador; Jordan Harris, B2B AAMI Scholar, Mentor, and Ambassador who gave the AAMI challenge; students Shakur Britten and Benjamin Thomas who offered a reflection; Lamar County Community Member and AAMI Program Coordinator, Aaron Brown who spoke on the importance of commitment; and Dr. Jeff Knighton, GSC provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The room was topped off with GSC faculty and staff as well as members of the community who have pledged to serve as mentors for the group.

“It makes me feel good to see that there is this much support,” said Jordan Harris, a freshman from DeKalb County. “I’m glad we have AAMI here.”