The FutureMakers Coalition, the local college access network serving the six-county region of Southwest Florida, recently partnered with Florida Gulf Coast University to establish a local Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) chapter.

The SAAB is a national organization founded by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe in 1990 to address the academic and social challenges facing African-American college students. Students involved in the program will benefit from academic advising and mentorship.

“We are looking at ways to enhance best practices across the region through collective impact efforts to address these challenges and promote equity in post-secondary access and attainment,” said Tessa LeSage, director of social innovation and sustainability for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, the backbone organization for FutureMakers Coalition, in a press release. “SAAB is a best practice because it focuses on increasing the number of African-American and Latino men who graduate from college by creating a positive peer community based on a spirit of caring.”

The partnership was coordinated through the FutureMakers Coalition by Lumina Foundation, along with SAAB and FGCU. Southwest Florida is one of 75 Community Partnership for Attainment areas working alongside Lumina Foundation to increase post-secondary attainment nationwide while increasing the number of working-age adults with degrees and certifications. The Lumina Foundation is providing free technical assistance in starting the SAAB chapter.

To read the full press release from the FutureMakers Coalition, click here.


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