MAP students unleash their superpowers

Richland Male Achievement Program (MAP) members became superheroes for the day. MAP members participated in the annual MALE Initiative Summit, “Superheroes Among Us.” The event involved MAP members from all the Dallas County Community Colleges. It took place at Eastfield College on April 12.

The event focused on teaching participants the necessary tools to be successful in their academic and professional careers. This year’s theme was superheroes, which allowed the event organizers to create compelling workshops with creative names, such as “Understanding Your Inner Super Powers” and “Using Your Super Powers for the Greater Good.” Guest speakers had the opportunity to deliver encouraging speeches tailored to the participants’ interests in self-improvement.

The keynote speaker for the event was Victor Vonico Johnson, a real estate investor and CEO of Credit Restoration Mentors LLC. He is also the author of the book “Proven Pathways to Wealth & Happiness.” In his personal success story, Johnson detailed how he used his self-taught networking skills and self-motivation to reach his personal goal of achieving a six-figure salary and a profitable investment portfolio.

Bernard Cheatham, left, Cung “Joe” Lian, Jack Ramirez Bernal, Grace Mulumba, Tyler Wells, Eric Mulumba and Josue Mulumba pose for a group shot photo.

Bernard Cheatham, left, Cung “Joe” Lian, Jack Ramirez Bernal, Grace Mulumba, Tyler Wells, Eric Mulumba and Josue Mulumba pose for a group shot photo.

“Throughout my life I have overcome some obstacles and I’m now a successful real estate investor and I own businesses,” Johnson said, “At the Male Initiative Summit you want to have people like that. They have overcome obstacles to let the younger generation realize that there is hope for you.”

Johnson discussed how anyone, with the right encouragement, can replicate his achievements. He concentrated on the importance of networking and how the reward of interacting with people can result in more opportunities.

“You never know when somebody may be interviewing you for a job,” Johnson said.

Other activities included exercises on determining the superpowers or skills among the participants and determining what career path to pursue. Another activity included an open discussion about how men should interact with each other, gender stereotyping and social media advertising, with a focus on what it means to be a healthy man.

Because this was a formal event, members took the opportunity to present themselves in formal attire, from well-polished shoes to tailored suits. This was also a chance to exchange business cards amongst themselves and the guest speakers.

“The students got some overall great advice and great mentoring,” said Gabe Randle, program service coordinator and adviser of MAP. “It was great seeing all the district schools come together and work with each other. We look forward to continuing to put this on every year.”

Randle said Richland will host the MALE Initiative Summit next year.