USG Grant To Help Middle Georgia State University’s BROS Initiative

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Arts and Letters | Faculty/Staff | Students | School of Business | Pressroom

Macon, GA

BROS participants Adarius McCoy, left, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting, and Jahmar Davis, who is working on a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Musicianship. McCoy is from Stockbridge. He plans to begin a master’s program after his MGA graduation, become a CPA, and eventually work for one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. Davis is from the U.S. Virgin Islands. He originally wanted to become an aircraft pilot and discovered MGA, which has a School of Aviation, while researching flight training programs. He later realized that his passion is music and vocal performance. His goal is to work in musical theater.

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) has received another grant from the University System of Georgia’s African American Male Initiative, a program designed to increase graduation rates of Black male students.

The most recent grant is for $10,000, which MGA is matching. The University also received a combined total of $31,000 in grants in 2017 and 2019 to help fund an institutional-level version of the initiative, which MGA recently rebranded as Brothers Reaching Out for Success, or BROS.

"Statistically, Black males are the least likely to complete college degrees," said Dr. Corey Guyton, MGA's director of Student Engagement and BROS advisor. “BROS is designed to provide a multi-front support system for our Black male students to help them stay on course and graduate.”

About 30 Black male MGA students make up the current cohort of BROS. Although the pandemic has temporarily limited in-person activities, BROS members typically meet once or twice a week to help each other with coursework and offer friendship and encouragement, which many feel they need more than ever given the nation’s heightened racial tensions.

“In America today, it can be very hard for a young Black man to find himself, even among his own people,” said BROS member Adarius McCoy, 22, a senior business major. “One side is looking at your skin color and the other side is looking at what you do. It helps to be around other Black men that you get to know and are like your family. It’s an empowering environment, and Dr. Guyton is the right mentor and advisor for it.”

Guyton is one of the relatively few Black males in an MGA staff leadership position. Pre-COVID, Black male students often stopped by his office to visit because they were happy to see somebody who looks like them in a leadership position.

Another BROS participant, 23-year-old Jahmar Davis, a junior music major, described the initiative as a way for Black males to come together and “beat the stereotypes.”

“I didn’t want to join at first,” Davis said. “But I’ve been challenging myself to do new things, so I joined and I ended up loving it. It’s great to be around other people like you who also have goals for their futures.”

Besides regular on-campus meetings, BROS members attend conferences on male empowerment and diversity and inclusion, where they take part in presentations about mental health, creativity, plans for post-college life, and developing leadership skills. Recently, BROS partnered with the Kappa Zeta Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., whose members will serve as professional mentors and speak on various topics at BROS events.

Guyton is arranging other activities for BROS participants once in-person events can resume on a regular basis. Among other things, he’s planning to introduce them to the game of golf.

“They don’t see a lot of guys who look like them playing golf,” Guyton said. “This is not just about taking up a new recreational activity. Golf is a sport that is part of the business culture. Business deals are made during rounds of golf.”

Other objectives of BROS are to connect participants with Middle Georgia State’s academic resources that help students do well in their coursework, encourage them to participate in campus life, and connect them with mental health professionals if needed to help them navigate racial battle fatigue and COVID-generated stress.

According to Guyton, the initiative is helping to improve MGA’s retention rate of Black male students. The retention rate for students who participated in the 2017 initiative was 78.3 percent – higher than average. MGA will determine the 2019 retention rate by the end of the current semester.

“There’s always more we can do but I think BROS is a key resource for Black male students at MGA who feel like they have to conform instead of just being themselves,” Guyton said. “It helps them navigate the University socially and emotionally.”


Editor's note: Black male students at MGA who are interested in participating in BROS may contact Guyton for more information: