FAMU Hosted 40 Black Male College Explorers Participants

July 05, 2023
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FAMU Hosted 40 Black Male College Explorers Participants

Florida A&M University hosted 40 students in the Black Male College Explorers AIM Higher Program on the Tallahassee campus June 11-23.

While most participants came from Central and South Florida, students traveled from as far as Illinois, Indiana, and South Carolina. Participants also included students from FAMU DRS and other Big Bend schools, said Errol Wilson, assistant dean in the College of Education Black Male College Explorers Program.

Wilson said that through the support of the University, The FAMU Foundation, and iHeart Media, the Program invited nearly three times as many student participants this summer.

“We continue to seek partners committed to improving student success and the academic outcomes for student participants,” Wilson added. 

While on campus, participants received direct instruction in science, mathematics, and English Language Arts. The student participants also engaged in wellness practices, 3D printing, college and career readiness courses, and an oratorical contest. They also visited the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.   

The BMCEP AIM Higher program focuses on STEM-related disciplines. Specifically, the participants benefited from collaboration with Pierre Ngnepieba, Ph.D., of the HBCU-C2 Project and the FAMU Cybersecurity and Information Technology Pathways Project. Participants received instruction on coding and computing and information about the opportunities available through IT career pathways.  

“The BMCEP AIM Higher Program, through the College of Education and other University partners, is committed to providing programming that equips males of color with the tools and resources to manage their educational futures and make informed decisions about their aspirations beyond high school,” Wilson said. “We intentionally focused on STEM career areas of critical need that have limited representation by males of color.”   

After the on-campus experience, BMCEP AIM Higher students got to participate in a one-week virtual camp on computing and bioinformatics through collaboration with the FAMU and Florida Gulf-Coast University’s Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The Virtual Scientific Computer Summer Camp ran June 26-29. The stem-focused camp curriculum incorporated computing, computer technology, bioinformatics, and coding using Python programming language.  

“The Black Male College Explorers AIM Higher program was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had the opportunity to take part in,” said Joshua Archie, a rising senior at Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla. “As a student who doesn’t necessarily enjoy class at times, I never thought I’d say this, but some of the most fun memories I have from the camp were in class.”