On most days, Al Corbeil, Polk State head baseball coach, spends his time helping his players develop and improve their skills on the field. Recently, however, he and his players took time away from practice to focus on traits like responsibility, character, and brotherhood.
All members of Polk State’s baseball and basketball teams attended Brother to Brother’s meet-and-greet luncheon on Sept. 29. Started in March 2014, Brother to Brother is a Polk State chapter of Student African American Brotherhood, which increases the number of African-American and Latino men who graduate from college by creating a positive peer community based on a spirit of caring.
Since it is one of Polk State’s newest student groups, its leaders introduced the Polk State Winter Haven campus to the organization’s executive body and members, and encouraged all men on campus to join.
“It was a beneficial experience for our players to be exposed to different speakers touching on the topics of responsibility, character, and brotherhood,” said Corbeil.
“The idea that we are all looking out for and supporting one another is a positive example that should be expressed on and off the playing field.”
A culturally sensitive, school-based program, Brother to Brother aims to increase the number of males who graduate from high school and college by creating a positive peer community at middle and high schools and by working to improve participants’ college readiness, postsecondary educational outcomes, and degree attainment rates.
“Brother to Brother addresses educational barriers for at-risk youth and ensures that significantly more men of color graduate from college,” said Terrance Hays, senior program specialist for bachelor’s programs at at Polk State.
“Brother to Brother challenges students to think, look, and act like responsible and successful people.”
Head Basketball Coach Matt Furjanic said, “I am very grateful that our players got a chance to interact with members of the community. This is so important in our students’ development, to know they have support both on campus and in the Winter Haven area.
“Brother to Brother will benefit our players. The groups mentors will provide a positive influence in the lives of our student-athletes and can give them support while they are away from their families.”
Also attending the event were President Eileen Holden, Vice President Reggie Webb, Academic Dean April Robinson, and Dean of Student Services Saul Reyes.
To join Brother to Brother, or to get more information, contact Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863.298.6823, ext. 5132.
Brother to Brother is one of more than 50 clubs and organizations offered through Polk State’s Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO). In addition to clubs, SALO offers students opportunities to participate in activities and events, engage in community education, play in intramural sports and serve on college-wide committees.