VBCPS - Ahead of the Curve
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Yolanda Jones-Howell
Date: 12/20/12 Phone: 757.263.1202
News Release No. 051 Fax: 757.263.1010
Email: [email protected]

Sixth annual African-American Male
Summit slated for January

For the sixth consecutive year, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) will host a summit to motivate African-American male students on their journey toward academic and personal success. Entitled Becoming a Drum Major for Change: Transforming Knowledge into Action, the event will be held at Landstown High School, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature presentations by dynamic keynote speakers and a variety of powerful workshops for students in grades nine through 12.

The summit is traditionally held around the birthday of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to commemorate his life and encourage African-American male students to follow in his footsteps of embracing a life of purpose by serving other people and communities.

“Virginia Beach City Public Schools is again proud to offer to its African-American male students this priceless opportunity to receive a wealth of information that can literally transform their lives into an example of excellence,” said Dr. Esther Monclova-Johnson, director of the Office of Equity Affairs for the school division. “School administrators have no doubt that the summit has played a role in the narrowing of the achievement gap. Young men who have attended prior summits have experienced a change in their mindset and direction of their lives after attending the assemblies and break-out sessions where speakers and facilitators share data, thoughts and ideas. We encourage students to attend the summit to learn how they can design their lives and control their destinies.”

Six years ago, Tallwood High School planned and hosted the first summit in response to the Virginia Beach School Board’s goal of improving the academic performance of African-American male students that lagged behind their fellow students in other demographic groups. The objective to close the achievement gap for African-American males is included in the school division’s strategic plan Compass to 2015.

This year’s summit will open with a general assembly featuring keynote speaker Marlon Smith, founder of Success by Choice, a nationally-known leadership consultation firm. Smith speaks at motivational conferences and other events primarily geared to secondary school students to help them find their purpose in life.

Smith has worked for two Fortune 500 companies, was featured in ESSENCE magazine as one of the nation’s top motivational speakers, has been a contributing author to the International best-seller "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and has contributed to motivational leader Tony Robbins’ Global Youth Leadership Summit for 12 consecutive years.

Break-out sessions will be facilitated by educators, guidance counselors and other professionals who volunteer their time to discuss such topics as goal setting, how to succeed in high school, college preparation, the importance of enrolling in challenging courses and other topics. It will also present a Parents Institute with a collection of workshops on various topics designed to engage parents and guardians in their children’s quest for educational and personal achievement.

Don Roberts, an award-winning reporter, news anchor for WAVY-TV 10, and author, will close the event According to the WAVY-TV 10 website, Roberts is WAVY-TV 10's "Marathon Man." He co-hosts nearly six hours of news a day, first as anchor of the number-1 rated morning newscast in Hampton Roads: WAVY News 10 Today and WAVY News 10 Midday.

The summit is presented in part from school division and corporate funding. For more information about the event, contact Monclova-Johnson at 757.263.6967.

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Department of Media and Communications Development, vbcpsweb@vbschoo[email protected]

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