GZBF L.A.M.P. Mentor Program continued its 2020-2021 activities with a September session on the topic Politics, Civics and Participatory Democracy, and a discussion of the book, The Ideal Team Player. The session began with a panel of Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer from the 50th Assembly District, Councilman John Kennedy from the Pasadena City Council 3rd District and Archon Bertral Washington, Deputy Fire Chief, San Bernardino County Fire Department. The panelist participated in a 30-minute presentation where they talked about who they are, what their job entails, what constitutes the areas of their responsibility, what internship opportunities exist in their respective offices, and what advice they have for young African American men who want to make a difference in their community.
After the panel discussion, each panelist met with Mentees in a Breakout Room for 25 minutes to answer questions and engage with the Mentees. The Mentees were divided into three groups and each panelist visited with each group of Mentees. In the Breakout Rooms, there was a L.A.M.P. Mentor Program-Volunteer who facilitated the discussion between the Mentees and the panelist. The Breakout Rooms were very lively with the Mentees asking probing questions and the panelists providing inspirational guidance and responses.
After the Breakout Rooms with the panelists, the Mentees were divided into four groups, each in a different Breakout Room, for a discussion of the book, The Ideal Team Player, by Patrick Lencioni. The Mentees had read the book during the month before the session. The main thesis of the book is that an ideal team player is Humble, Hungry, and Smart. In each Breakout Room, a L.A.M.P. Mentor Program-Volunteer led the discussion and provided opportunities for the Mentees to discuss the concepts and identify where and how they might apply to their lives. Since all the Mentees are on an athletic team, or a service project, or a school project, there were robust discussions of how they could apply the concepts of Humble, Hungry and Smart to themselves and to their teammates.
In the usual practice of making and submitting a video journal entry on the session, many Mentees commented on the panel, question and answer session, and the book. In many of the entries, the Mentees reflected on how the panelists provided interesting information and insights in how the government operates. The Mentees also commented on how the book and its concepts were interesting, and how they might use the concepts in their daily lives.
The L.A.M.P. Mentor Program wishes to thank Archon Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Assemblyman, Councilman John Kennedy, and Archon Bertral Washington, Deputy Fire Chief, for taking the time to provide information and wisdom and for pouring into the lives and experiences of the Mentees. We also wish to thank the Table Group, Inc., for donating the copies of the Ideal Team Player that the Mentees and the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program-Volunteers read. One of our goals is to provide education, enlightenment and empowerment to the African American high school males in the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program. The presentations, discussions, book reading, and small group conversations on September 26, 2020, met that goal.