Powerful picture used to inspire men to go to college

Posted at 10:02 AM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 10:02:52-04

It's all about the power of a picture.

Around 100 Jackson College graduates and current students gathered Tuesday to take a photo. You'll spot doctors, barbers, lawyers, businessmen and more in the crowd.

"This is a critical time right now where our youth can be inspired to see that there is hope," says Hakim Crampton, a student and President of Jackson College's "Men of Merit" leadership group.

The message is simple, men of color do have a lot of options, including college.

They are calling it the "See The Vision, Be The Vision" initiative.

"There are African American men, Latino men who have pursued their educational goals," says Kelly Krum, the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Jackson College.

A lot of this stems from the idea that young black, Latino and other minority men need more role models, beyond the athletes and entertainers we often see on TV.

"A lot of young men don't see the end product," says Krum, "so sometimes what they see is people on the streets."

One of the men in the picture says taking a photo like this is a game changer. Antoine Breedlove started at Jackson College at a fourth grade reading level, now he works at the college.

"For a younger man to see someone successful who overcome their obstacles is such a tremendous privilege," says Breedlove who is now the Multicultural Student Program Coordinator at the college.

For Malik Hunter, a student who's plans involve the police academy, the camaraderie and mentors he has met keep him on the path to success.

"I really didn't see that when I was younger," he says, "it is good to portray this image to younger kids."

The photo will be distributed to local schools, churches, on social media and more.

Contact Jackson College for more information.