On April 28, MAN UP held its End-of-Year Recognition Ceremony in the Black Box Theater on the Woodbridge Campus. More than 80 people including students, parents, faculty, staff, NOVA President Scott Ralls, Woodbridge Dean of Students Michael Turner and Woodbridge Provost Sam Hill attended the ceremony. During the event, MAN UP students were recognized for their personal and academic achievements.
The highlight of the evening was the Donning of the Kente ritual, which serves as a rite of passage and celebration for scholars who are transitioning from institutions of higher learning to the next chapter of their lives. The Kente celebration has deep institutional history and is an important experience for many multicultural students. Four MAN UP students who are graduating from NOVA and who will be continuing their education at four-year universities in the fall were presented with the Kente: Immanuel Hart, Devinn Todd, Bernard Wilson and Sohail Naeem.
Other honors that were awarded to MAN UP students included the Emerging Leader Award, the Superior Academic Achievement Award, the Outstanding Brotherhood and Leadership Award and the MAN UP Brother of the Year Award. Student speakers shared their insights on being responsible, successful and –empowered – the three pillars that serve as the foundational elements of MAN UP.
Ralls took the time to recognize the exceptional achievements of the entire MAN UP group and expressed his deep pride in the program and in each young man’s accomplishments. Hill also praised the group and the MAN UP Program leaders Richmond Hill, Bobak Kasrai, Cedric Howard, Lando Lowe, Rommel Aguilar and Turner.
MAN UP is a minority male mentoring and leadership development program designed to promote the personal and social development and academic improvement of students at the NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus. The program was developed to increase retention, graduation rates and the academic performance of minority males, while providing the skills and motivation to reach these goals. MAN UP activities and events are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin or other characteristics.