OTC student Javeon England is stepping into an important role this semester. The 20-year-old business and marketing major has been named the president of Brother 2 Brother (B2B), a “near-peer” mentoring program that strives to improve college retention and graduation rates among minority students.
“We’re more of a family than a brotherhood,” Javeon said. “We all depend on each other, especially when it comes to school, work and life in general.”
The 20+ member group is comprised of young men from Springfield’s colleges and high schools. The students meet twice a month to discuss their personal and academic goals. Javeon says the meetings help the group come up with a game plan to tackle the semester ahead.
“We’ll schedule study groups and community service projects,” Javeon said. “We also talk about different ways we can build our resumes, apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.”
Greyson Foresee, an OTC employee and coordinator of the mentoring group, says Brother 2 Brother has become a “safety network” for its members to ask questions and seek out help. Many of the young men prefer to ask their peers for assistance and guidance rather than strangers.
“Members know they can bring up any topic or issue they might be working though, and we’re here to help them,” Greyson explained.
He added that the group recently started a new project that connects its members to local professionals with similar aspirations.
“They’ll meet for lunch to discuss their goals and what it’s like to work in their prospective fields,” Greyson explained. “It’s a great opportunity for our members to sit down one-on-one with someone who has found success in work and life and ask them how they got to where they are today.”
The local Brother 2 Brother program is open to male high school and college students. The group meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 7:30-9 p.m. at Missouri State University. To learn more or get involved with Brother 2 Brother, email Greyson Foresee at firstname.lastname@example.org.