Graduates with their recognition certificates, and clockwise, Gilbert Holmes, L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Coordinator, Ramsey Jay Jr, GZBF President, Earle Charles, Assistant L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Coordinator, and Michael Armstrong, Keynote Speaker

On May 30, 2020, the GZBF recognized the accomplishments of ten outstanding high school graduates during its annual L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Celebration and Scholarship Awards Ceremony. The virtual program began with a musical interlude while the seniors, their fellow Mentees, family, friends and supporters. The musical interlude ended with the song “Glory” by Common and John Legend, and their very poignant line, “No one wins the war individually. It takes the wisdom of the elders and the young people’s energy.”

It continued with a welcome from Archons Ramsey Jay, Jr., GZBF President and Gilbert Holmes, L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Coordinator. After explaining the protocols for the program, President Jay introduced Archon Charles Jordan, Retired Bishop, who offered a stirring invocation, reminding everyone why we were assembled, what the world is seeing and looking like during this time of video presentations and personal introspection, and who we are and belong to at this very important period. Following Bishop Jordan, Gregory Vincent, Grand Sire Archon of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, provided welcoming and congratulating remarks. Grand Sire Archon Vincent pointed out the meaningfulness of gatherings like the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Celebration and Scholarship Awards Ceremony and how important it was for all of those assembled to continue to support the recognized high school graduates and all youth who are truly the future and saviors of our society. After Grand Sire Archon Vincent’s remarks, the audience watched a video depicting the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program mission, vision, goals and outcomes.

Michael Armstrong, the Keynote Speaker for the program, spoke after the video. Mr. Armstrong, a graduate of Hampton University and the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, is the Executive Vice President for Worldwide TV Licensing & Operations for Paramount Pictures. In his speech, Mr. Armstrong reminded the seniors, mentees, and gathering of participants what L.A.M.P. stood for and charged the seniors to live out the principles of Leadership, Achievement, Management and Professionalism. He truly captured the essence of the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program and gave the graduates a vision of what their future could be from their experiences in L.A.M.P. After the speech, Archons Jay and Holmes announced that the program had raised over $67,000 and thanked all the donors. As a result of the generosity of the supporters and donors, GZBF awarded $63,250 in scholarships and awards to the ten graduates.

GZBF thanks everyone who contributed to making the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program Celebration and Scholarship Awards Ceremony a success. We appreciate the time, talents and treasures of the volunteers, families of the mentees, the mentees, the community partner organizations, and the financial donors and ticket purchasers. It is the aforementioned individuals collective support that helps the young men in the program see the “infinite possibilities” in their lives and the lives they will impact as they pursue their dreams and goals beyond the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program.