On Saturday April 23, 2016 Project MALES staff members José Del Real Viramontes, Juan Lopez, Jorge Segovia, and student mentor Erick Campos participated in the 5th Annual Cultural Studies in Education (CSE) Conference, hosted by the Cultural Studies in Education program and the Cultural Studies in Education Student Graduate Council, at The University of Texas at Austin. José, Juan, Jorge, and Erick participated in a session titled “Resisting the Marginalization of Students of Color” where they shared how Project MALES’s service learning course Instructing Males Through Peer Advising Tracks (IMPACT) a college course offered to students involved with the Project MALES Mentoring Program, addresses the academic and social challenges male students of color face through service-learning and peer mentoring
Erick one of our student mentors shared his experience presenting at the conference:
I was able to share my testimony about my experiences with Project MALES. I shared that a lot of students in the school pipeline are facing similar things that I faced in middle and high school, things such as discrimination, drugs, gangs and being a trouble- maker. I also shared that the criticism that you receive from others during that age is not permanent its only temporary. People who are troublemakers can make something of themselves; I mean I am living that right now as we speak. I am glad that for my mentee I was able to share that with him and help impact his life. Just because you mess up in life sometimes doesn’t mean you can’t make something of yourself. I am thankful to be a part of this project because it has motivated me to strive for success and never let my challenges get to me rather I have learned to embrace them to help me get back on my feet stronger.
Erick thank you for sharing your experiences with us and with those who attended our session, you are a great example of the important work Project MALES is doing in the UT and Austin Community.