The L.A.M.P. workshop each December is quite special because it is when former L.A.M.P. Mentees, the Alumni of this program come back to speak to the current Mentees. This year, nine Alumni returned to speak candidly with the Mentees. The contingent of Alumni spanned the spectrum of 2022 graduates from L.A.M.P. to Sophomores; Juniors; Seniors, in universities across this nation to a former Mentee who has been in the workforce for a while, working in wealth management for Goldman Sachs.
Though it is not customary for anyone who is not a Mentee or a Mentor or a Speaker to attend L.A.M.P. workshops, we usually break this custom in the December meeting and invite parents to attend and observe their sons in action as they normally participate in other workshops. This year’s workshop commenced with President Ramsey Jay’s “Ice Breaker” which is expressly designed to promote critical thinking by Mentees. The Ice Breakers are usually questions that will cause the Mentees to think deeply and quickly about the questions being asked. Questions can be scientific or mathematical in nature or they can be from current events that are influencing the financial markets or… you name it. Any Mentee can be called upon with no pre-warning of the topic or if he will be called upon in the first place.
The Ice Breaker is a normal activity in each month’s Workshop and in the December workshop, parents are invited to see the marvel of their sons that participate in L.A.M.P. During the break at the 2022 Alumni event, a few parents commented that they were happy that they were not called upon to answer the Ice Breaker questions… however, they were most proud of their sons who did.
The December Workshop is usually a combination of the Alumni event and a Toys-for-Tots toys drive. Just as we did in 2021, L.A.M.P. partnered again with the organization “FRIENDS IN DEED” which does tremendous work by feeding the hungry and providing shelter for the homeless in the Pasadena community.
Many toys were brought to the December workshop by Mentees and their parents as gifts to this organization which will make sure that they are given to families and children who are less fortunate and in need, with the hope that a toy can help to bring them joy during the holidays. A representative of FRIENDS IN DEED took the time to not only express his thanks to the Mentees and their parents for the toys, but also explained in detail what his organization does for the and in the Pasadena community. For more information on this organization go to – https://friendsindeedpas.org.
More than 80 people attended the event at the Annadale Country Club. Participants included thirty L.A.M.P. Mentees, nine Mentors, six prospective Mentees, and thirty-five parents and guests, including Archons from Gamma Zeta Boule. The program for the event provided parents and guests to see the basic format of a L.A.M.P. Mentor Program workshop with our transformational Ice Breaker approach. In the Ice Breaker, Mentees find themselves having to think on their feet as Ramsey Jay, Jr., president of the Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation and nationally recognized motivational speaker gently and purposely peppered the Mentees with questions. The event also included breakfast and lunch, and in between the meals, there was a panel of 6 L.A.M.P. Alumni who talked about their post-L.A.M.P. experiences and how the Program provided them with tools for success. The alums included Jasper Bagley, a freshman at St. Maty’s College in California, Russell Richey, II, a wealth manager at Goldman Sachs in Chicago, Quintin Hollomand, a junior at Loyola Marymount University, Dylan Wilson, a sophomore at Cal State Northridge, Matthew Fowler, a freshman at Alabama A&M University, and Jayden Holloman, a freshman at Cal Lutheran University.
Gilbert Holmes, the Director of Curriculum and Development moderated the panel. There was an opportunity for current Mentees to ask questions – we call this peer-to-peer mentoring – and for parents to ask question so they can have a better picture of the benefits of the Program. The alums provided insight and examples of how the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program has had a positive effect on their lives from self-discipline, time management, fiscal responsibilities and self-confidence, among other things. One of the common themes among the alums was how the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program prepared them to be “comfortable being uncomfortable” and for the interviews they had in their processes of obtaining scholarships, internships, and jobs.
In addition to the Alumni Reunion, the December 17 event was the culmination of the annual Toys-for-Tots Drive. Each of the Mentees and several of the guests brought an unwrapped toy. The more than 50 toys were donated to Friends In Deed, a local charity that has a tremendous toy give away in the Pasadena area. Friends In Deed feed more than 500 families a week and give away more than 250 toys each Christmas. This is the second year of the L.A.M.P. – Friends relationship and the Toys-for-Tots Drive is one of the community service activities of the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program.