National Institute on Aging

Vanderbilt University Program to Help Young Black Men Is Expanding to Pennsylvania

Using a program developed at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, two school districts in western Pennsylvania will use $1.5 million in grants from the Heinz Endowments to help young black men prepare for college.

The Scholar Identity Institute at Vanderbilt has been working with young black males in the Nashville school district since 2006. Students meet in two-week summer sessions designed to motivate young black males to develop good study habits and make plans to attend college.

The Whiting Scholar Identity Model was formulated by Gilman Whiting, assistant professor of African American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt. Dr. Whiting and Donna Y. Ford, professor of education and human development and co-founder of the Scholar Identity Institute at Vanderbilt University, will travel to Pennsylvania and assist the local school districts in implementing the new program.

Donna Ford and Gilman Whiting


Comments (11)

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  1. Stephen Paul Delsol says:

    It fills me with sheer joy, when I read about any program that helps African-American males to get to college and remain in college to graduate. Here in South Carolina, only 14% of African-American students graduate after three years with an associate’s degree from two-year colleges.

    Eighty six percentage of African-Americans are not graduating from two-year colleges in South Carolina. That’s catastrophic! We can do something about it! And we must do something about it!

    I congratulate Dr. Whiting and Dr. Ford for what they are doing to assist African-American students.

    I designed and delivered a motivational and learning skills program for Black students. The program has been in operation since 1993. Students from Zimbabwe, London, Dominica, New York, and Greenville, South Carolina have engaged with the program.

    Yesterday, one of my former students, who has a master’s degree, and is gainfully employed phoned me from London to remind me of my motivational program and how effective it was.

    It really gives me great pleasure to see former students who went through the program and attributed some of their success to the impact of the program.

    • John Boama-Sefah says:

      Please let me know how I can get to your website. I am and African American male trying to motivate my 15-year old son in 10th Grade.


    • I am the Director of The P.R.A.I.S.E. College Readiness Academy in Baltimore, MD.I absolutely love what you guys are doing. My program is a Saturday and summer program geared towards boys of color, who want to attend college. Our host program is the JHU School of Education, here in Baltimore. I need your help in building my program more. Can you help??????

  2. Misty GArdner says:

    I would like to get more information about your program. I have a young man 19 yrs old. He is in need of some male guidance. He has never been in trouble and is God fearing. he just need someone to show him the way. Thanks

  3. Sheree King says:

    Is this program available for young boys ages 11 and 12 years ?

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