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Midwest BankCentre Donates $20,000 to New SCC Men of Color: Student Success Program
Orvin T. Kimbrough, chairman and CEO of Midwest BankCentre, believes one’s agency, not the color of their skin or the circumstances into which they were born, should decide how fast and far they can go.
When he heard about St. Charles Community College’s new Men of Color: Student Success Program, he saw a great opportunity to make a difference.
“The Men of Color: Student Success Program is specifically designed to act as an accelerant to help young black men succeed,” explained Kimbrough, “a group that has historically and currently has comparatively lower college graduation rates.”
That’s why he helped secure a $20,000 donation from Midwest BankCentre to help jumpstart the program.
“My hope is that this scholarship fund can help change people’s lives by giving them greater access to financial resources and other supports that give them the best shot at winning,” he said.
The Men of Color: Student Success Program at SCC is specifically designed to support minority high school students as they navigate through the college experience and into a life of success. The program includes financial scholarships, academic support, social engagement, mentorship and connections with successful community leaders. The MOC Student Success Program has been an intention of Dr. Barbara Kavalier, SCC president, for several years. The time was right to launch it in 2021. A prototype of the program was piloted in 2019-2020, under the development of Robert Jones, student life manager.
“We know when minority students are supported as individuals, their college experience will be more successful,” said Martha Garcia Kampen, SCC chief diversity and compliance officer. “This new program is designed to help students not only thrive academically but feel equipped for their futures.”
Institutions of higher education, including SCC, have faced many challenges. In addition to delivering instruction and support services amid COVID-19, the news has been filled with stories that depict acts of violence and racial injustice against African Americans. Kimbrough believes the program comes at a pivotal time for minority students.
“I believe that there is shared responsibility and accountability to find solutions to these life-arresting challenges, particularly among those who are in a position to influence our systems and to effect meaningful change,” he said. “Not only is it the right thing to do, not only will racial equity in education exert a powerful positive influence on the lives of our children who are the future workers and business owners, it’s an economic imperative for the future prosperity of our country.”
To help introduce the new program to the community, SCC is hosting its inaugural Men of Color: Student Success Summit on Feb. 26, 2021. High school students who attend the summit will get the chance to engage with nationally-renowned speakers and learn more about the Men of Color: Student Success Program. The summit is open to all men of color from area high schools, whether or not they are interested in participating in the program.
For more information about the Men of Color: Student Success Program or inaugural summit, please visit stchas.edu/menofcolor.