The Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation’s L.A.M.P. Mentor Program began its 2023-2024 Program Year with an Orientation and Etiquette Workshop on August 26, 2023. The Program experienced exponential growth from last year and increased in enrollment from 36 African American high school male students to 60 and resultant challenges in terms of resources.
The Orientation included the Mentees and approximately 95 parents and 12 Mentors and members of the Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation board of directors. Speakers included Archon Earle Charles, L.A.M.P. Program Director, Archon Ramsey Jay, Jr., Foundation President and Archon Gilbert Holmes, L.A.M.P. Director of Curriculum and Development. As part of the Orientation, the Mentors met each new Mentee and each Mentee received a L.A.M.P. Mentor Program pin. In addition to the speakers explaining the expectations and opportunities of the Program, Archon Jay provided the parents and new Mentees with an example of the traditional “Ice Breaker” of the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program. Archon Jay kept Mentees and parents on their toes with rapid fire questions and hand clap cadences that the Program uses to stimulate critical thinking, focused attention, and the Program standard of excellence.
After the Orientation, the Mentees participated in a workshop on Etiquette. Ronald Martin, the first African American to be inducted into Les Clef d’Ordo, the international society of Consigner’s, conducted the class. The class covered dress etiquette, social graces, respectful treatment of women, greetings, behavior at a business lunch or dinner, and dining etiquette. During the class, the Mentees engaged in several spirited discussions with Mr. Martin as they sought to understand etiquette traditions in the context on the lives in the 21st Century.
After the class, the Mentees had lunch at the Fleming’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. The Mentees had to negotiate the placement of the bread dish, the beverage glasses and the napkins – all matters they had learned in the class. They also had to order from a menu and engage in conversation during the lunch. They were not permitted to use their cell phones during the workshop – a challenges for several of them, but one that they met with few reminders. Even at the beginning of the lunch, Mr. Martin conducted a refresher course on the basic etiquettes surrounding eating in a public setting with multiple pieces of silverware and drinking glasses. We served juice in the wine glasses to give the Mentees the experience of how to hold stem glasses and water glasses.
Also, during the Mentee workshop, Mark Fowler the Chair of the L.A.M.P. Parents Auxiliary Council, conducted an orientation for the parents. Mr. Fowler and others gave the parents an opportunity to introduce themselves to each other and to describe the talents and treasurers that they can contribute to the success of the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program.
Finally, The Program leadership wishes to thank Fleming’s Restaurant and Wine Bar for hosting the August activity. Maria Haro, Operating Management Partner and the entire staff were extremely generous with their assistance, hospitality, flexibility, and excellent food. Combined they created a genuine and impactful environment of the L.A.M.P. Mentor Program to conduct its Orientation, introduce parents to how the Program operates, to hold a significant class on etiquette, and to introduce the Mentees to fine dining.
The L.A.M.P. Mentor Program continues to depend on the support of the individuals who recognize the value of what the Program offers to the African American young men of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley communities. Please consider joining those who support the Program by making a donation at www.gzbfoundation.org/donate. All gifts are greatly appreciated.