Psychiatry Resident Helps Birmingham’s Youth
There is little need to remind people of the negative statistics haunting the youth of Birmingham—we are nationally ranked as a most dangerous city, in a state with a high school graduation rate well below the national average. It would be easy for many young people to fall into the cycle of dropping out of high school and going down the wrong path in life. Dr. Theo Morgan, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Resident, decided that Birmingham’s youth deserved a better chance at success. Along with local physician, Dr. Hernando Carter, Dr. Morgan formed The Kappa League Leadership and Development Program, a mentoring and training program or young men in high school. The program originates from The Guide Right Program, an initiative of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. dating back to 1920.
Each chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi is challenged with creating a program tailored to the needs of the local area. Recognizing that high school social organizations and clubs are extremely popular in the Birmingham Area School system, the Birmingham Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. chose to build upon this enthusiasm for participation in these clubs by modeling aspects of the Kappa League Program around a social club while providing mentoring in key areas. The Kappa League Program has five areas of emphasis or phases: Phase I, Self Identity; Phase II, Training; Phase III, Competition; Phase IV, Social; and Phase V, Health Education.
The young men meet monthly for two hours. The first hour is designated “Phase Meeting” where modules are in place for enrichment. The young men just completed a three month module in professional development where they were exposed to proper professional dress, résumé building, and interviewing skills. The module culminated in a mock interview where the young men were given a chance to utilize their new skills. Other modules this year will deal with sexual education and awareness, the role of a leader, and drugs in our communities.
The second hour of the meeting is “club time”. The club is modeled to run like a professional organization. The young men are exposed to and expected to utilize Roberts Rules of Order. They plan and develop an agenda for each meeting, as well as a calendar for the year. They must plan and execute an event in each of the following areas: Community Service, Fund-raising, and Social. They are also required to attend bi-weekly study hall and ACT preparatory courses.
Dr. Morgan, along with Dr. Carter, simply want to help these young men be good at whatever they choose to do. “Whether they choose to go to college or to learn a trade, we just want them to work hard and not allow anything to hold them back. I have enjoyed working with these young men to ensure they never feel the burden of the statistics facing Birmingham youth.”