Phillip Aubrey, an 18-year-old senior at King Drew Medical Magnet High School, although it's hard work, prides himself on being an overachiever, and is on a mission to see that other young men his age excel in the same ways that he strives to.
This year, Aubrey created an unprecedented group on campus called Brotherhood, which focuses on uplifting and educating young men of African American and Latino backgrounds. The purpose of the club is to foster more Black and Brown males who are socially and historically conscious, adept in technology, and that go on to pursue higher education.
It is the only exclusively male club at King Drew.
Each Monday, after school, the members of Brotherhood come together for lessons in technology, educational development, and in the future hope to have etiquette classes.
"I see that the club has already had a positive impact on the members, as well as other men on campus," said Aubrey, who is president of Brotherhood. "I see men carrying themselves with more respect, I see less sagging, and the faculty has been very supportive of what we are doing. Many teachers have even given students extra credit for attending our meetings."
More than anything, Aubrey expresses a concern about the lack of African American young men who are matriculating into college. He quoted statistics from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) stating that the coveted university only has 1 percent Black males in attendance and of those few, only about 20 percent are attending academically, the majority are athletes. Brotherhood is dedicated to changing those discouraging figures by grooming the next wave of college-ready young men.
As with any club, it takes funds to ensure the prosperity of the group, and Brotherhood has come up with a number of ways to garner them.
"We are, at the moment, hosting a fundraiser to raise money for uniforms and field trips," said Aubrey.
"The purpose of the uniforms is so that we can be properly dressed when we attend seminars and events.
The money for field trips includes money for the cost of attending seminars and other didactic events along with fun trips as well. Our club is entirely student-run so the members and I take on the full onus of getting funds."
Currently the group is hosting a presale on Christmas trees. The trees, which are $65 each, can be ordered by contacting Aubrey either at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 673-8154. All members have a personal goal of selling at least three trees, which patrons will be able to pick up from King Drew in early December. It is the hope that the group will be able to purchase uniforms for a technology seminar they will attend next month.
Brotherhood is also looking for organizations and/or individuals to sponsor the group year-round. For more information, contact Phillip Aubrey at email@example.com.