ABOVE PHOTO: Robert Wrease Jr. with students Tadiwanashe “Antony” Tuwacha and Zahkee Hawkins in Pittsburgh. (Photo/ DCCC)
Two Delaware County Community College students recently attended a four-day leadership program in Pittsburgh hosted by the Presidents’ Round Table (PRT), a group consisting of African American chief executive officers of U.S. community colleges. The PRT is an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national association that represents and advocates for nearly 1,200 associate degree-granting institutions enrolling more than 12 million students — almost half of all U.S. undergraduates.
Delaware County Community College students Tadiwanashe “Antony” Tuwacha of Parkesburg in Chester County and Zahkee Hawkins of Marcus Hook in Delaware County attended the PRT’s Men of Color Student Leadership Institute. A nonprofit committed to equal access, resources, mentoring and professional growth, the PRT hosted the Institute to inspire, motivate and encourage future leaders to achieve excellence and grow professionally. President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, the first African American president of Delaware County Community College, is a PRT member.
A total of 36 students and 18 advisors, representing Pennsylvania, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Maryland, California, Georgia and Kansas, participated in the Leadership Institute. Students attended sessions on topics including life transition and global mindset, education, credentials, community and civic engagement, and human & technical skills. Workshops, group discussions and forums were presented by community college presidents, administrators and faculty, as well as by representatives from private and nonprofit organizations.
While in Pittsburgh, the students also toured the city via public transit and enjoyed cultural and social activities, such as a tour of Acrisure Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team.
They also visited the Moonshot Museum, an aerospace museum that features exhibits and lunar spacecraft under assembly. In addition, they attended the University of Pittsburgh’s homecoming football game and they competed against other student groups in a capstone project called, “Bridging hearts through open minds, celebrating the power of reconnecting.” Tuwacha’s team came in second and Hawkin’s team placed third.
“What an astounding experience I had,” Tuwacha said. “It was my first trip to Pittsburgh and my first time to watch a football game (in person) … My camera was on all the time capturing content for my group’s capstone project.”
Delaware County Community College’s Black and Latino Male Empowerment Initiative (BLMEI) sponsored the two students, who were accompanied by Delaware County Community College counselor and assistant professor Robert Wrease Jr., an advisor for BLMEI, a group which seeks to improve the academic success, retention and graduation rates, as well as the overall positive experiences of Black and Latino males enrolled at Delaware County Community College.