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SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit Program ready to pursue another purposeful academic year

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—SUNY Erie Community College’s Men of Merit Program—established in 2011 to foster excellence, distinction and integrity in the school’s male African-American, Hispanic and Native American students—started another academic year of personal stewardship with a kickoff event at the College’s City Campus Auditorium on September 20.

The evening event was headlined by speaker Tommy McClam, Director of Buffalo’s Say Yes Boys and Men of Color Coalition. McClam (Photo attached) provided a thought-provoking presentation on “The Power of Purpose,” with such tidbits of advice as suggesting that students, “not be a chicken, but soar like an eagle.” McClam informed the audience of his many years working for the Internal Revenue Service, where he learned that his true passion was in youth development. As he informed the audience on his eventual pursuit of this passion, he encouraged all the students in the Men of Merit Program to take full advantage of this their SUNY Erie-hosted opportunity to become men of scholarship and excellence. Lastly, McClam told his audience to follow its passion as the best way to find your purpose in life.

ECC’s Men of Merit program provides ambitious male students of color the chance to pursue excellence through a wide array of services designed to maximize academic success; and the opportunity to chart a course to graduation often hindered by poverty, crime and unemployment within local and national minority communities. Members have access to advisers, mentors and leaders—from both ECC and the school’s extended community—who strive to prepare students for college success. 

Program members also have access to a support network comprised of vital ECC-guided services like academic readiness workshops, crisis counseling and career development necessary to achieve their desired goals. With this backing and a strict adherence to the aforementioned program tenants of excellence, distinction and integrity, members are guided to stay in college, advance academically and serve their community as they become the men they aim to be.

For more information on ECC’s Men of Merit Program, please call (716) 851-1939 or email wilsonma@ecc.edu.

Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership.