Tie and Jacket Drive To Suit Young Men


LAMP Mentors | Courtesy/tamuc.edu

BJ Laudermilk, Staff Reporter

The Latino American Mentorship Program (LAMP) is putting on the Tie and Jacket Drive now through December 5th. The Drive allows all the members of LAMP and the African American Male Mentorship Program (AAMMP) to obtain suit jackets and ties.

“Some of these gentlemen have never owned a tie or a suit,” Julian Sanchez, Co-Director of the Office of Hispanic Outreach and Retention said. “We are wanting these young men to be prepared to dress for the professional workforce and wear professional attire around our campus.”

The Minority Male Matters Initiative, the overall group that houses LAMP and AAMMP, was created to combat the gap between the retention and persistence rates of Latino and African American males trying to gain admission to and those currently enrolled at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and in an effort to motivate Hispanic students, LAMP provides a supportive learning community for mentors and mentees. LAMP also strives for their members to not only graduate from college, but further their careers by building connections and developing lifelong skills.

The Tie and Jacket Drive was created by the Latino American Mentorship Program, and an invitation was extended to the African American Male Mentorship Program to allow both organizations to run the program.

“There is no monetary gain from this drive,” Sanchez said. “The contribution will be made by community members and professionals who decide to donate ties or jackets to our students.”

All mentors for these programs are chosen by using a comprehensive application process. Mentors are expected to carry themselves according to the university student handbook policies and to model professionalism toward their mentees, staff, and faculty.

When mentors are hired, they automatically become an employee of the institution and are required to follow the same professional standards as other on-campus employees. A mentor should be able to provide a safe environment where mentees are able to confide the concerns that they have with their academic goals or progress. They establish a relationship that promotes trust and a genuine relationship with their mentees.

The Tie and Jacket Drive helps LAMP get closer to achieving their three primary goals: academic excellence, graduation, and professional development.

“This event supports the professional development goal of the program by helping these young men to wear the attire that will be required in their professional careers,” Sanchez said.

While the focus of the organization may be on Latinos, Sanchez emphasized that the Tie and Jacket Drive supports role models of all different backgrounds.

“I want anyone interested to support these young men who strive for academic excellence and are trying their best to be servants and good citizens of our society,” he said.