23rd Annual Golden Pyramid Scholars Program

Urban League Community Service 012On June 14th, 2014 – The Urban League of San Diego County celebrated its 23rd Annual Golden Pyramid Scholars Program on Saturday, June 14th, 2014.  The event took place at San Diego Concourse, Golden Hall.  The program was designed to identify, recruit, nurture and support students who are striving to achieve academic and economic excellence.  The communities’ goal is to ensure that its future parents, politicians, scientists, carpenters, doctors, and professors are identified early and supported continuously in their quest to achieve excellence.

977660_10151735733176804_686334450_oIn partnership with several community based organizations, more than $215,000 in scholarships were presented to Golden Pyramid Scholars who represent African American and other underrepresented populations.  The scholarship partners included College Bound; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter; The Pat on the Back Foundation, San Diego State University; San Ysidro Health Center; and Rudolph Johnson Scholarship Fund, Neighborhood House Association & Urban League of San Diego County. Additional thanks goes to our military personnel who volunteered their time to help with logistics and crowd management.

The Golden Pyramid Academic Scholars Awards program provided participating organizations and businesses an opportunity to connect with more than 1,300 high-achieving underrepresented youth and their families.  This year’s program attracted more than 2,529 people.  Participants were encouraged to enroll in one of our year-round youth programs such as Project Ready (College Readiness Programs for males and females 11-17).  The Golden Pyramid Scholars Program features encouraging messages which promote academic achievement, civic responsibility and professional success. The programs emphasis on academic achievement and career success attracts aspiring, influential teens and young adults, ages 8-18 along with loyal parents/grandparents/guardians of all ages. These consumers bring a mindset perfect for marketing certain consumer brands, career opportunities and social campaigns that appeal to this trend-setting demographic.

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Smoke Detector Installation – Community Service

Smoke Detector Community Service 003Brothers, spent Saturday morning installing smoke detectors for senior citizens. Did you know that having a working smoke detector in your home cuts your risk of dying in a house fire by 50-percent? If you do not have a working smoke detector, are 55 years or older and own your own home, you qualify for a FREE smoke detector through the Burn Institute’s Senior Smoke Detector Program. For more information about this FREE program for seniors call (858) 541-2277 or visit the Burn Institute at www.burninstitute.org

Smoke-Detector-Community-Service-005-300x225We believe Volunteers are critical partners of and participants in societies throughout the world. Whether actively giving their time through a formal or ad hoc organizations, or taking part in what is sometimes called “informal volunteering” where citizens voluntarily participate in community activities or provide personal care for family, friends, neighbors, or even strangers as part of accepted cultural norms of giving and reciprocity. By doing this we become an ACTIVE part of change in our communities and in turn reinforce change within ourselves.

Welcome Brothers Ahmed and Kelso

10312357_618114344939070_5250186972111086060_nOn March 28th, 2014 We welcomed the two newest members of the Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter Brothers Mohamed Ahmed and Benjamin Kelso. Below you will find a brief biography of both.

10014639_10201538285651158_537222158_nStudying Somalia’s history, Mohamed discovered Somalia was once Africa’s democratic role model where people respected each other’s beliefs. Then the warlords
gained control, and every tribe wanted to be the ruling clan that governed the country, some even intending to destroy the others. “It is almost as if we lost all civility,”
Mohamed says. Somalia became a failed state, plagued with corruption and violence. Its civil war sent a diaspora to neighboring countries and other continents. Mohamed’s parents wanted to give him an education and opportunities, so they risked their lives to flee Mogadishu and make their way to Kenya. At every checkpoint, they had to lie about their tribe to
keep the family from being killed on the spot. “I don’t know how my life would have been today, or even if I would be living if those warlords found that we were not in their
tribe or clan.” Fortunately, they reached the U.S., and throughout Mohamed’s school years, he reflected on what his mother and father had to sacrifice for his sake. He studied hard and
stayed after school daily to improve his language skills in preparation for college.

Once in college, he studied International Security and Conflict Resolution, aiming to return to Somalia and help it transition from conflict to peace. “I think we need individuals who have the skill sets and capabilities to look at the issue in depth and from a macro perspective in order to reach conclusions that are optimal for that community or country,”Mohamed says.He sees good leadership as the first priority and points out that Somalia’s leaders today are considered to be among the most corrupt and incompetent in the world. “Somali community leaders are still using tribal and clan rhetoric to play the blame game and fragment the community. I think that conflict blurs people’s vision in that they lose sight of what is important in the long run. They pick up arms and weapons to get their point across.” If greater educational opportunities open up, communication and tolerance of public debate must be emphasized. “Education cannot be stressed enough,” Mohamed says, “to help lift Somalia out of poverty and drive development. Investing early is crucial.” Drought combines with extreme poverty, however, to render education virtually impossible without assistance.

For example, in the town of Xaar Xaar, a hospital and school were built which had to be abandoned due to a drought. The inhabitants migrated to Burtinle which has water, a secondary school, and assistance from C.U.R.E Africa, (Communities United Reviving East Africa) whose mission is to strengthen the educational opportunities of East African communities both nationally and internationally. Mohamed cofounded C.U.R.E. and recently returned from Somalia where he helped research the educational system. They have raised $30,000 toward the Burtinle elementary school in the Puntland region. C.U.R.E. Africa tutors, mentors students with SATs and ACTs, and hosts awareness programs, cultural celebrations, and events with the larger community to change negative perceptions of East Africa. Another goal is to bring water into the region by digging wells. The group seeks financial support from regional government, and other fundraising efforts with a goal of sustainability.

954850_10151668457507472_715606004_nA recent graduate of San Diego State University—which made his parents proud— Mohamed hopes to continue on into graduate school. He sees himself working in education for the rest of his life, but he’s also passionate about politics and is currently an intern for Congressman Juan Vargas. He dreams of becoming president of Somalia one day, a new kind of leader who is academic, visionary, skilled, trustworthy, and able to move the country ahead responsibly. “I would like Africa to give to the rest of the world,” he says.

Benjamin Kelso is a supervising investigator at the San Diego Family Justice Center/Domestic Violence Unit where he provides direct supervision over family violence cases in San Diego. He received his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Ashford University graduating cumma sum laude. He holds several Associates degrees from Miramar
College, graduating with honors in Social and Behavioral Science, Administration of Justice, and Contemporary Police Technology. Kelso will graduate Spring 2014, from Fort Hays State University with a masters degree in Organizational Leadership.

Kelso is the President of the San Diego Black Police Officers Association (the San Diego Chapter of the National Black Police Association). He is responsible for the overall operations
of the local Chapter keeping compliance with the NBPA while working in partnership with the community. Detective Sergeant Kelso is directly responsible for member recruitment and retention, community relations, budget, and is the organizations liaison to the Chief of Police.

Additionally, he excels in developing high performing working teams, organizational development, critical thinking, situational leadership, critical incident management, and
organizational leadership. His previous police assignments include expertise in specialized proactive investigations, and specialized patrol assignments, including SE Crime Suppression Team, Gang Suppression Team, Operation Weed & Seed, Neighborhood Policing Team, Training Division, Juvenile Services Team, DARE, School Safety Patrol, and Police Cadet Program.

In his spare time, he enjoys working with local youth, and coaching football at Del Norte High School. He is an avid martial arts practitioner and holds a 5th Degree black belt in Taekwondo. Other artistic interests include playing both the alto saxophone and baritone saxophone. In 2009, he tried his hand at acting, playing the role of LAPD Sgt Homer Broome in the video short “First Blood.”

Blue and White “Walk for Babies”

10287237_10152450144571804_172278207_nPhi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta partner with the March of Dimes. Through this partnership, the two organizations will work together to prevent premature births and build strong fathers and male role models in the African American community through sponsoring Strong Fathers seminars and Stepping To Save Babies. Our members are committed to take the following actions:10318584_10152450320521804_196923561_n

  • Sigma’s volunteering for local March of Dimes chapters, committees and boards.
  • Chapters co-sponsoring and leading with the March of Dimes Strong Fathers seminars in our communities.
  • Sigma’s Stepping To Save Babies initiative: Our goal is to raise $100,000 with each chapter contributing a minimum of $200 for March For Babies.

San Diego Chapters of Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta united to raise nearly $200 towards the March of Dimes “Walk for Babies” campaign. With members arriving well before 6AM. Brothers from all over San Diego county volunteered as well as walked in the annual event. This also easily surpassed the national goal as we worked with pride towards seeding into the lives of children.

Stork’s Nest is a 40-year-old partnership between Zeta Phi Beta and March of Dimes. Stork’s Nest is a community-based, prenatal, health promotion program for low-income pregnant women. The program is designed to promote prenatal care participation and healthy behaviors during pregnancy through two components-incentives and education. Stork’s Nest clients “earn” points toward incentives, such as maternity or baby care items, through a variety of positive, health-promoting activities; attending prenatal care appointments, participating in prenatal education classes, keeping appointments for well-baby visits,, etc. Thousands of women are serviced at Stork’s Nest all over the country every year.10272879_10152450274141804_1441251276_o

Phi Beta Sigma contributes $500 towards Jordan Humphries Dream

1234851_10200802641868802_270480703_n(3-7-14) Brothers of the Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter presented Jordan Humphries a student at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts with a $500 grant in order to move closer to his dream of attending Berklee School of Music in Boston. Jordan Humphries is an instrumental musician serving as a percussionist, drum major, and mentor for the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA Thunder Squad Drumline.

936941_1389805600.3143Jordan Humphries has been playing the drums since he was two years old. As an aspiring artists, he also loves to sing, dance, play bass guitar, and piano. His dream is to attend Berklee College of Music once he graduates from high school in 2015. His journey has begun…

Jordan Humphries has been accepted to the Berklee School of Music Summer Performance Program in Boston, Massachusetts. While attending he will be able to obtain college credits to go towards his admission in 2015 and audition for an early music scholarship. He was awarded this opportunity due to his examples of academic, leadership, and dedication to not only the Thunder Squad Drumline but also for the inspiration that he brings to the Southeast San Diego Community. Donate to Jordan’s dream at http://www.gofundme.com/69d344For more information on the Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter email us at omicroniotasigma@gmail.com or via Facebook 

Royal Blue Pre-Valentine’s Day Mixer

1548154_579899562093882_1424576716_o02/07/14- The brothers of Omicron Iota Sigma and the ladies of the Beta Nu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. hosted the 1st Annual Royal Blue Pre-Valentine’s Day Wine Mixer at the Allure Clubhouse in Scripps Ranch.  The mixer featured musical guest Kendrick Dial with Lyrical Groove performing songs from the past and their upcoming new release. The Royal Blue mixer was the first social collaboration between Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter and Sigma Gamma Rho focused on bringing friends and members of the National Panhellenic Council’s affiliated organizations.  .

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To quote Eric Brown (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.) “This was a great opportunity to get out and be sociable amongst the brothers and sisters of the D-Nine” The mixer had over 50 guests in attendance listening to live music along with DJ Raysean,  and was highlighted by a variety of tapas, rich desserts including red velvet cupcakes and so much more. There was also samplings some of the wines around San Diego. Lastly four participants left with raffle baskets consisting of a designer plate, a bottle of wine, movie passes and a gift card to Flemings Steakhouse.

The mixer was a resounding success and will be back again the Friday prior to Valentine’s Day 2015 so stay tuned for more events!!!. Being a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is a lifetime experience. In fact, our alumni constitute 71% of our living members! The alumni chapter plays a central role in helping alumni renew old friendships, make new acquaintances, network professionally, attend to the business of the Fraternity, and serve our Community. You can follow both Chapters on Facebook the following links Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter and Beta Nu Sigma Chapter

 

 

San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper holds its 54th Annual Awards and Anniversary Gala

1602144_10203250086956613_322135342_oCourtesy of San Diego’s Voice and Viewpoint – Kicking off Black History Month in style, the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper held its 54th Annual Awards and Anniversary Gala, Saturday, February 1st at the Market Creek Venue. With approximately 400 tickets sold, the gala was a star studded affair for the local African American community. Dignitaries, pastors, leaders, civic organizations, families and friends were present to congratulate the publication on 54 years of services to the people of San Diego. Emceed by Mr. Tayari Howard of KKSD Jazz Radio, attendees were entertained by the likes of Teye Sa Thiosanne, an African Drumming troupe, CEO’s Rhythm Section band, the San Diego MLK Community Choir, The Jackie Robinson YMCA Thunder Squad Drumline, songstress Mrs. Lila Smith and poet Ms. Leah Goodwin.

Tracy Morris of Phi Beta Sigma shared “Thanks had a great time and it was truly an honor to witness the journey of the Voice and Viewpoint over 54 years. I look forward to witnessing the next 54,” and Frank Robinson, senior vice president and public affairs manager of Union Bank said “It was a great event,” which was the sentiment shared by many attendees.

img_1056 (1)Many of the guests in attendance felt as if they were at a family reunion, some sharing stories and laughs with individuals they hadn’t seen in years. Publisher, Dr. John E. Warren, co-facilitated the evening with Mr. Howard and Managing Editor, Chida Warren-Darby. During the evening, a brief video history was shown to give attendees more insight on how the publication was formed, with stories told by one of the newspaper’s previous publishers Mr. Earl Davis, Jr.

In the spirit of celebration, the publication awarded several individuals in the community for their tireless efforts and their giving spirits. They were Pastor Miles McPherson, Senior Pastor of The Rock Church, who received the Good Shepherd & Visionary Pastor Award; Mr. Hartwell W. “Skipper” Ragsdale III who received the Small Business Partnership Award; Dr. Robert and Ardelle Matthews and Dr. Dorothy Smith, who were recipients of the Unsung Hero Award, and Ms. Kathleen Harmon and Mr. Walter Lam who were recipients of the Gerri Warren Humanitarian Award – in honor of the late Mrs. Gerri Warren who co-published the newspaper with Dr. Warren. Corporate Partnership Awards were given to SDGE and Union Bank.

In the program Dr. Warren shared with event sponsors “We wish to extend our most sincere appreciation to you for allowing us to assist you in serving our communities. Our interdependent relationships have been the core of the success that we both enjoy…” Event sponsors were Union Bank, Wells Fargo, Neighborhood House Association, Wells Fargo, Cox, Sycuan and the United Port of San Diego. Photos by Brandon Johnson. For more information on the Omicron Iota Sigma Chapter email us at omicroniotasigma@gmail.com or via Facebook 

San Diego Centennial Celebration

553796_565717726845399_870613646_n (1)San Diego Founders Celebration honoring our founders and those who traveled this road before us took place at Dave and Busters in Mission Valley. Here we honored their service and undying dedication to the ideals upon which our beloved fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., was founded. Honor their legacy with a new century of service unforeseen by others.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The Founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.

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The Founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as “a part of” the general community rather than “apart from” the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence…without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They desired for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the “inclusive we” rather than the “exclusive we”.

From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, they held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity’s motto, “Culture For Service and Service For Humanity”.


The National PanHellenic Council of San Diego also celebrated our 100th Founders’ Day Celebration with a Salute to Service with attended by each affiliate organization giving greetings and bestowing commemorative plaques to each chapter President. The brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. would like to thank you all for your attendance and we appreciate each organization that attended.

Today, Phi Beta Sigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders. No longer a single entity, members of the Fraternity have been instrumental in the establishment of the Phi Beta Sigma National Foundation, the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union and The Sigma Beta Club Foundation. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, founded in 1920 with the assistance of Phi Beta Sigma, is the sister organization of the Fraternity.

7th Annual Blue and White Christmas

1488029_553954678021704_653261588_nThe 7th Annual Blue and White Christmas Awards breakfast taking place Saturday Dec. 14th, 2013 at the Mission Valley Sheraton (1433 Camino Del Rio S, San Diego, CA 92108) 9:00 am to Noon. Presented by The Blue Heart foundation we look to celebrate this holiday season by honoring those that serve our community while bringing educational awareness to San Diego’s foster and underprivileged youth during a festive Christmas celebration.

For the past seven years “The Blue and White Christmas” has been an opportunity to give and receive the gift of service. We invite youth and families of San Diego to partake in a morning of joy, gift giving and celebration. This year we have grown larger than ever inviting nearly 100 children and providing them with gift certificates and age appropriate gifts during this celebratory breakfast. These children and teenagers come from a variety of programs which include San Diego Adoptions, VIP Mentors, “Just in Time for Foster Youth” along with children from local foster and area group homes.

However, the primary focus of this event is to get these young people engaged and interested in attending and completing college. We do this by celebrating the accomplishments of community members along with testimonials and accomplishments of those that have successfully completed college. Collegiate students will also share their dreams regarding higher education with the hopes of inspiring those in attendance to reach for their highest potential and pursue higher educational goals. So with gifts, resources and the appreciation for education the Blue and White Christmas is always an event that lasts in the memories of our youth.

This year’s Keynote Speaker Trimaine Davis (former SDSU Basketball Player) and award recipients Kea Hagan (San Diego Urban League), Dr. Tanis Starck (San Diego State University), Tyra Hawthorne (Jackie Robinson YMCA Thundersquad) and Patrick Turner (Pat on the Back Foundation) all directly impact children’s lives on a regular basis and were recognized for the outstanding efforts. April Ray was also recognized for the Heartbeat Award for her work behind the scenes and members of Thundersquad were recognized for their academic achievements.

988871_553956751354830_2100612098_nLastly, there will be a festive lineup of entertainment as we are proud to announce the entertainment lineup performing Natasha Dunham performing “What a wonderful world” and special appearances by Miss Kristyl JL Smith, Thundersquad and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s – Lambda Iota Chapter step team and strolling by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc Delta Gamma Chapter… This was a wonderful Christmas event benefiting San Diego’s Foster Youth and encouraging them to attend and complete college.

Going to College Night Fair, Tailgate and Football game

2013-11-02 21.15.35On November 2nd, 2013 San Diego’s Blue and White Family and the Pat on the Back Foundation held our first Annual Blue and White Tailgate. Tickets were provided by SDSU “Come to College Fair” with transportation by the Pat on the Back Foundation and food by the Blue and White. There were over 60 children and countless college students, parents and coaches all of which enjoyed time together enjoying the experience of a college football game and experience. We hope this is the first of many opportunities to serve our community while bonding as a family.


San Diego State University’s “Going to College Night” prior to the SDSU vs. New Mexico on November 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM featured Pre-game festivities from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in parking lot section C2. College Fair and included information on Financial Aid, Admissions, Enrollment, Athletics and Campus Life.  Entertainment includes Marching Aztecs, SDSU Cheer and Dance Teams and the Aztec Mascot. It was truly a great opportunity also providing children and parents with information on attending college.

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