Local Guide Right Chapter Continues to Influence Student Lives

Anna Kutz, Life Editor

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The morning announcements are pretty much all the same. Every day, the same few sports and clubs meander their way over the loudspeakers, and every day, people ignore what is being said. But if you really listen, you might find out that there are some clubs that get very little attention, but do a lot behind the scenes.


Guide Right sounds like it could be any sort of club—volunteering, peer influence or more. In reality, it is an outlet for young men to learn about what the future holds, and how they should deal with it.


This organization is not unique to EHS—in fact, Guide Right stems from a fraternity that has been running for over a century. According to the official website, Kappa Alpha Psi is a black fraternity, founded in 1910 to help provide students a safe place while attending Indiana University.


Created at a time when the school had a less than one percent black student population and the Ku Klux Klan was at its height, this student alliance was vital to those attending. This small group of men was forged into the fraternity that lives on today, even in the halls of EHS.


Although the fraternity is only available for college students and graduates, there is an option if a student wants to start early.


This is where Guide Right comes in: it’s a mentoring program to help young black males with social development, cultural enrichment, positive self-image and scholarship opportunities.


LaShonda Coleman, EHS guidance counselor and sponsor of Guide Right, believes it has a strong positive impact on the students who join.


“I look for kids who could use some fostering, some increased academic success and some increased positive decision-making skills to participate with the group,” Ms. Coleman said.


The main goals of the group match up with what each individual may need, or what they want to further expand their understanding in.


Each meeting, they focus on something a little different. Some days, the emphasis is on financial stability. Others, it is more of a cultural club. Since the club meets monthly, mostly on Saturdays, they have the opportunity to cover a wide range of topics over the year, according to Ms. Coleman.


She mentioned that on some occasions, the group even takes their meetings elsewhere, going to a local museum or out to lunch. For those who want to experience learning as a group, this is especially helpful, since the fraternity brothers act as mentors and brothers to the teens.


“We can bond like a brotherhood and we do different activities with each other,” said junior Paul Wallace, a second year member of the guide right club.


The Edwardsville/Collinsville chapter official website states that “they hope to increase positive parent/teacher interaction and control communication gaps between generations.” And it’s doing just that, one outing at a time, according to Ms. Coleman.


While Guide Right may just sound like another volunteering opportunity, in truth it is a complex web of brotherhood and cultural learning.


“. . . It’s like an extension of your family,” Wallace said.


Its history spans over a century, and in the future it hopes to keep making a difference in the lives of teens all over the country.



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Local Guide Right Chapter Continues to Influence Student Lives