Gordon State College, GA Power Host Education, Leadership Summit

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

Gordon State College African American Male Initiative (AAMI) in partnership with Georgia Power hosted its first summit, Under Construction: The Power of Power on Friday, April 29, at the GSC Student Center Auditorium in Barnesville.

GSC AAMI leadership team coordinated the event as an opportunity for high school students from GSC’s 14-county primary service region to visit the campus and discover the importance and excitement of careers in education and leadership.

The idea behind the theme of the summit was also created by the GSC AAMI leadership team as a way to embody the spirit of GSC and harness the essence of Georgia Power. They said the purpose was to show how resources can be used to help students gain employment in areas of study like the teacher education program. In addition, they believe these collective efforts will allow attendees to see themselves not only as college students and professionals, but also as responsible leaders in their communities.

The summit allowed GSC and Georgia Power to partner together and attract potential dedicated students that will be productive citizens to the community and workforce.

The Georgia Power Foundation has been a significant partner in supporting GSC AAMI program with charitable contributions and through employee engagement. The collaborative connection has continued to develop through the relationship with GA Power Community Relations Representative and GSC Board of Trustees member, Jeneen Andrews. 

“It was so rewarding to witness Georgia Power’s investment in education equity at work. The summit was an energizing and powerful platform for introducing young men to education and leadership careers at the high school level. I was elated to partner with GSC in this great AAMI event,” Andrews said.

The summit included DJ entertainment and keynote speaker, Keith L. Brown. Brown is a principal speaker and Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award winner known as “Mr. I’m Possible.” He overcame the systematic labels of, “special ed” and “at-risk” to become one of the most sought after speakers.

“I’m here to support what they’re doing because I know the power of what AAMI does,” Brown said. “I agreed to be the keynote speaker, but I also wanted to emcee the entire day.”

The event-filled day included the following high schools: Griffin, Spalding, Mount Zion, Union Grove, and Jonesboro. There was an ice-breaker with a stage full of attendees dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle,” AAMI student testimonies, a campus tour and a panel discussion to name a few.

Superintendent from Griffin-Spalding Schools, Dr. Keith Simmons took the stage to share the significance of asking for help and going beyond of what is in front of a path.

“I see value in programs like this. Twenty-eight years ago, all I wanted to do is get a high school diploma. I struggled through high school and now I’m in charge of three. I had a network of people who believed in me more than I had at the time. Don’t let opportunities pass you by,” Simmons said. “Be greater of what you think you’re capable of being. More importantly, ask for help.”

AAMI’s mission is to provide an Integrated Program Model of academic and social tools that support students adopting a positive mindset to successfully complete classes, elevate their cumulative GPAs and matriculate through each academic level and graduate. AAMI’s mission blends with the USG’s commitment to the Momentum Approach. The Integrated Program Model includes academic skills enrichment, student support services, adult and peer mentoring plus leadership development.

“I had the privilege of speaking alongside some amazing men to encourage young men to pursue a career in education and/or leadership. Over 100 young males came out to this summit! I am humbled by the opportunity to speak,” said DiAndre Richardson, GSC class of 2020 alumnus.