MAN UP Honors Academic Achievement at Recognition Ceremony

On May 3, MAN UP held its fourth annual recognition ceremony at the Woodbridge Campus. Students were honored for their personal development, leadership skills and academic performance.

Founded in 2013, MAN UP was created to increase retention, graduation rates and the academic performance of minority males, while providing skills and motivation to students. Consisting of 47 members, MAN UP leaders and mentors Richmond Hill, Rommel Aguilar, Michael Turner, Lando Lowe and Cedric Howard shared the accomplishments of the organization throughout the 2017-18 academic year.

“As MAN UP members we have strength and confidence in ourselves while reinforcing those same qualities in each other,” said member Gabriel Zelalem. “We always remind ourselves that we are capable of achieving anything. Through all of the barriers to success, we must understand that we are the controlling factor in our lives. We must focus our efforts on becoming better men.”

Seven MAN UP members graduated on May 12 due to their hard work, determination and fortitude. Many of them are going on to James Madison University, George Mason University and Old Dominion University or will directly enter the workforce. MAN UP members are required to attend specific events related to their organization’s purpose. Collectively, students have accumulated over 230 hours of local community service. Through the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup initiative, each year during Earth Day members discard trash on Neabsco Road from Route 1 to Dale Boulevard in Woodbridge.

MAN UP is open to any minority male student enrolled at NOVA-Woodbridge. Members are assigned a mentor and benefit from academic skill building and advising, monthly success coaching, access to networking opportunities, character building workshops on self-esteem and communication, social and athletic events/activities and service learning projects.

The celebratory occasion also honored 2018 NOVA graduates through a special Donning of the Kente recognition, which symbolized their academic achievement. Awards given included:

MAN UP Award Recipients

Emerging Leader Award

DeMarco Thomas

Academic Achievement Award

Gabriel Zelalem

Brotherhood and Leadership Award

Idris O’Connor

MAN UP Brother of the Year Award

Carlton Reid III

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