RCC’s Inner Strength Program Helps Students Succeed
ASHEBORO (June 8, 2012)
Solomon Mosby (left) and Malachi Jones, pictured here at Randolph Community College’s Curriculum Graduation ceremony on May 9, attribute much of their success at RCC to the support they received through Inner Strength, RCC’s Minority Male Mentoring Program (3MP).
Inner Strength, Randolph Community College’s Minority Male Mentoring Program (3MP), which was established in fall 2010 after RCC received a five-year grant from the North Carolina Community College System, has been an unqualified success.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the accomplishments of two of RCC’s May graduates, according to Arnold Gaines, RCC student retention specialist and coordinator of 3MP. “The program focuses on three components: academic enhancement, character and leadership development, and career development,” said Gaines.
The academic portion includes peer tutoring, exposure to information about campus resources, study skills classes, financial aid counseling, academic monitoring with an early alert component, writing skills labs, and academic advising. Participants learn about character and leadership development through mentoring, guest speakers, and participating in minority male conferences at other colleges. For one component of career development, Gaines has implemented a shadowing program with professionals in the fields of the students’ college majors.
The shadowing program was a big help to Solomon Mosby, who just graduated with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology from RCC. Solomon graduated from Southwestern Randolph High School in 2006 and said he drifted a little after graduation. He attended GTCC for a semester in culinary arts and went to work full time at Food Lion.
At the YMCA in Asheboro one day, Solomon started talking to RCC Criminal Justice instructor Neil Weatherly and ended up enrolling at RCC. “He guided me and got everything started,” he said. Then Mosby’s fiancé, Kiara Miller, who was also an RCC student, suggested he look into joining Inner Strength.
Since Mosby was working full time, he couldn’t always make it to the Inner Strength meetings. “Mr. Gaines would pop up at my job and send me text messages to keep me up to date,” said Mosby. “He reached out a lot.” Gaines also arranged for Mosby to shadow a state trooper, Lt. Ron Elkins. “That gave me a good background about what troopers do,” said Mosby, who aspires to be a law enforcement officer, “and Lt. Elkins became another good mentor for me.”
Now that he has graduated from RCC, Mosby is transferring to Winston-Salem State to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He is the son of Debra Mosby of Asheboro and Daryl Mosby of Georgia.
Malachi Jones, who just graduated with a degree in Business Administration from RCC, was also a participant in Inner Strength 3MP. Thanks to encouragement from Inner Strength staff members, Jones was selected to participate in the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) in June 2011. He was one of only 20 students admitted each year to this nationally recognized, competitive program and was the only community college student selected.
“My experience at the iSchool Inclusion Institute would be described as an unforgettable journey,” said Jones. “My group decided to take up the digital divide between K-5 grade schools. Our goal is…to pinpoint a specific area where children are not receiving access to technology.”
Jones also participated in several four-year college tours with Inner Strength and shadowed a local attorney, James Young of Asheboro. As a result of a tour to Catawba College in Salisbury, Jones decided to apply there, where he was accepted and will begin classes this fall. He has chosen to major in psychology based on the advice of Young, who suggested the focus to learn to deal with different types of people. Jones plans to pursue a law degree. He is the son of Yvonne and Tucson Jones Sr. of Asheboro.
For more information on the Minority Male Mentoring Program at RCC, contact Gaines at 336-633-0222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .