By: Andrew Mees, Director of College and Athletics Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bloomfield College Coaching Health for African-American Males to Promote Success (C.H.A.M.P.S.) Program gave students the chance to participate in an enriching personal experience the weekend of Sept. 20, as the group held its 2014 Fall Retreat at Camp Cromwell in Martinsville, N.J.
The three-day excursion provided undergraduates an opportunity to engage in a series of informational workshops focused on self-reflection, the program’s personal coaching component and the mental, social and emotional transition from high school to college. The itinerary also challenged the participants to test their physical limits while building trust and communication skills, as the group was taken through a rigorous ropes course on the campgrounds.
“Each section of the ropes course forced the students to work together, communicate effectively, find out how they can be of assistance to the group as a whole and just how much potential each individual had to be successful,” C.H.A.M.P.S. Membership Specialist and College Admission Counselor/EOF Recruiter Roydon Pellew ’14 said. “The instructors weren't just there to do the ropes course; they connected with the students on a much more personal level, sharing their own personal stories. It was definitely a great experience. The experience provided another voice of encouragement to the students that they can do anything they set out to do.”
Launched in September 2012 and funded by the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Competitive Grant, the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program brings together individual coaches with African-American male students to develop their short and long-term goals. The initiative is designed to increase the retention, graduation and academic success of African-American male students through an intensive coaching program.
Trained C.H.A.M.P.S. coaches include Bloomfield College alumni, staff, and community members dedicated to the success of the institution’s current students. Each of the five coaches boasts prior coaching experience, and an understanding of the unique challenges facing African-American male college students. In addition to monthly group events centered on personal and professional development, students also engage in one-on-one personal coaching sessions with a designated C.H.A.M.P.S. coach.
“The C.H.A.M.P.S. program is a bridge between these young men’s cultural backgrounds, building on the positive experiences from their past, recognizing their unique attributes and creating a lifeline as they venture forward in their educational pursuits.” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Marion Terenzio. “We need to be proactive in facilitating the health and growth of our young African-American males who can rewrite their life scripts to include receiving a post-secondary degree and taking their rightful place in society.”
The C.H.A.M.P.S. program will present its next event, a career exploration workshop entitled, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective College Students” in conjunction with the Center for Career Development on October 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Learning Hub in the Library. To register for the event, please contact Nikki Santoro at (973) 748-9000 ext. 1250 or email@example.com. Students wishing to join the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program should contact Gina Thomas at (973) 748-9000 ext. 1682 or firstname.lastname@example.org.