Student Spotlight: AC Brother to Brother chapter members chosen for national leadership roles

Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Author: By Braden Musser, AC Communications Major, Junior

Two Adrian College students have accepted volunteer roles in leadership positions for SAAB (formerly known as Student African American Brotherhood), a national organization with 355 chapters in 41 states. Current Adrian College SAAB/Brother to Brother (B2B) Chapter President Elijah Dealca and former president Jalen Adams have earned the opportunity to represent Adrian College nationally, as they have been selected as Associate Consultants (ACs) within the SAAB national organization.

ACs fulfill a wide range of leadership needs such as tech support, fundraising, marketing, alumni relations, and the expansion and development of chapters across the country. Every two years, six to eight leaders are chosen to attend the Associate Consultant Institute (ACI) hosted by SAAB headquarters where they will each present a research project to SAAB leadership. In addition, ACs are also invited to the SAAB Student Leadership Summit, taking place in Springfield, MO on March 21-22.

SAAB was founded by Tyrone Bledsoe, Ph.D., in 1990. SAAB, also known as Brother to Brother, is a national organization whose vision is to “remove educational barriers for at-risk youth and ensure that significantly more Black and Latino men graduate from college and to empower those graduates with the ethics and networks necessary to set a higher standard of achievement for men of color.”

Currently a senior, Adams played an instrumental role in the founding of Adrian College’s chapter of SAAB in the Spring of 2023, with the help of Bledsoe. Adams will be working within the marketing/public relations team and has been working on a research project with another brother that will be presented to SAAB leadership during the ACI in March.

“We are tasked with marketing and public relations. So that looks like, how can we reach different audiences… specifically the ones that we aren’t reaching yet,” Adams said. “We’re tasked with making an effective marketing strategy that will be able to help SAAB in the future.”

Outside of his work with SAAB, Adams is a biology major and a member of the men’s volleyball team at Adrian College. He is also involved with the TRIO Excel Program, which offers grant aid, educational workshops, career assessments, and leadership opportunities to first-generation college students. TRIO Excel also provides aid to students whose parents meet income guidelines and/or have a documented disability.

“They have given me really great opportunities and great relationships with the people there… they’re just a really great group of people who go out of their way to help you with whatever you need,” Adams said.

Dealca, a sophomore with an Information Technology major, has been chosen to work on SAAB’s fundraising team. He and a SAAB member from another chapter have been tasked with creating fundraising proposals to be presented during the ACI.

“For my position as an ACI, I’ll be working with nationals on a fundraising project,” he said. “I am working with another partner who goes to Missouri State University, and we’re looking at different fundraising projects that we could potentially do on the national level.”

Along with being Adrian College’s B2B Chapter President, Dealca is also the president of Adrian College’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He also serves as a class secretary for the Student Government Association, an officer for Adrian College’s computer club, and is a member of the Campus Activity Network.

Both Adams and Dealca say their inspiration for getting involved with SAAB comes from Bledsoe, who spoke at Adrian College’s opening convocation in September 2022.

“I first met Dr. Bledsoe the first week of convocation,” Adams said. “I distinctly remember meeting him that day and from there, I just knew that SAAB was something that we wanted to bring to campus.”

Since the start of Adrian College’s B2B chapter, the group has grown significantly. B2B has hosted numerous fundraising events such as “Pie a Brother” and has participated in multiple volunteering efforts with groups such as the Boys and Girls Club of Lenawee. Dealca and Adams would like to encourage students of all backgrounds to get involved and help grow the organization.

“One of the things we are looking to do specifically is, how can we, as a brotherhood organization on the campus of Adrian College, enlighten ourselves?” Dealca said. “How can we lift each other up? How can we have each other’s back academically, financially, spiritually? I think that’s one of the biggest things with Brother to Brother is just being able to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

For more information on B2B or to get involved, email Dealca (edealca26@adrian.edu) or Adams (jadams24@adrian.edu).

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