Boulé members help black youths

Although one helps high school seniors pursue a college degree and the other mentors middle school pupils, both projects share the common goal of making a positive difference in Augusta.

Alpha Mu Boulé, of the national Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, is the Augusta chapter of like-minded, successful black men who are college graduates, according to the Web site. Alpha Mu Boulé members are active in their mission through the Drs. Isaiah and Justine Washington Scholarship Foundation and Project BBUILD (Boulé Brothers Uplifting, Influencing, Leading and Developing).

"I have a love for education, and get so much joy out of assisting people to acquire an education," said Dr. Samuel Sullivan, vice president of Augusta State University and an Alpha Mu Boulé member.

Other members of the local chapter include Paine College President George Bradley, cardiologist Mac Andrew Bowman, gastroenterologist Ronald Brown, banker Cedric Johnson, U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver, Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick, retired educator Tracy E. Williams Jr., retired Paine College CFO Quincy Robertson, former Augusta Chorale Director Ellis M. Johnson and dentist Edmond Franklin.

"Each of us enjoys a talent, and we use that talent for Project BBUILD and through the scholarship program, too," Sullivan said.

In partnership with the Richmond County Public School System and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta, Boulé members make weekly visits to the Augusta Housing Authority's Dogwood Terrace Boys and Girls Club to tutor sixth- through eighth-grade boys with their schoolwork and to talk with them about issues they are facing. Members also take the young men fishing and to basketball games and hold an annual banquet for them and their parents.

"We bring together our guys, our wives and others we know and use their expertise to talk to the kids about health issues, social issues, about our experiences and our vocations," Sullivan said. "And we help them figure out that education is an important part of our lives."

The emphasis on education is continued through the Washington Scholarship Foundation. Boule awards $1,000 scholarships annually to one graduating senior from each of the 10 Richmond County public high schools. The foundation has awarded $78,000 in scholarships to 88 students since 2002.

Michael Walden received the foundation's scholarship when he graduated from A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School three years ago. Today, Walden is a junior at Yale University, majoring in computer science.

The scholarship's namesakes -- Drs. Isaiah and Justine Washington -- were prominent, award-winning leaders in the Augusta community before their deaths. He was a longtime educator, civil rights activist, city councilman and member of several governing boards and she was a lifelong educator, musician, Paine College administrator and board of education member.

"It is an honor to receive a scholarship that is named for Ike and Justine Washington," Walden said. "They really were great examples to everybody, and I really want to do my best to live up to that honor and what they stood for."


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