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Men of Color Success Initiative Celebrates End of Semester

Times are weird. With everything going on in the world right now you may find yourself in need of support and/or guidance. Luckily here at PCCC, there is an outlet to assist young men

on their path to success.

On Thursday, December 10th at 1 p.m. via Zoom, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Men of Color Success Initiative’s End of the Year Celebration, where group leaders, core members, AmeriCorps ambassadors, and alumni gathered online to reflect on how the initiative has changed their lives, and the accomplishments of the group over the past semester.

Professor James Sanders III started MOCSI three years ago. His mission: to provide men with support and resources to become successful in the real world.

MOCSI provides an inclusive space and offers emotional support or advice from its senior members. A strong sense of brotherhood is clearly present when hearing members of the group reflect on their time with MOCSI.

Gabriel Rivera, an ambassador with the program told the group, “being part of the initiative has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people I might not have become friends with otherwise.”

“I’m grateful the leadership team saw a little spark in me that I may not have seen,” Alex Bascuro, another ambassador told us, “I’m really glad to have been a part of this and have the opportunity to help the community.”

In addition to providing support to each other, uplifting the community is a key component of MOCSI. Over the last few months, members gathered supplies and dropped care packages off for community organizations like Passaic EMS and St. Joseph’s Hospital.

The group has also held several workshops geared at setting students up on a trajectory for success, including wealth and credit management workshops.

But that doesn’t mean the initiative is all work and no play. MOCSI has gathered their members for “Men’s Night Out,” trips, where they participated in safe and socially distant activities like going to the arcade and shooting hoops. The bond the members of MOCSI have developed are apparent.

Mr. Noguera, one of the leaders of MOCSI told the group, “I care about you and I care about your success…we have to stand together as a community!”

Dr. Michael Hunt, another leader of the initiative echoed a similar sentiment, ““if you need to share anything, I’m here to assist and work with you.”

After testimonials from group members and ambassadors who’s lives have been affected positively by MOCSI, the groups founder, Professor Sanders in an emotional and moving speech, expressed his thoughts about the initiative.

“I wanted to tell all of you that I love you.” Professor Sanders explains how for men it is difficult to express their love for one another, yet a sense of togetherness exudes from the members of MOCSI. Sanders continue, “I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Continue to stay encouraged…life isn’t promised to any one of us, every day we are afforded the opportunity to get better.”

Interested in joining MOCSI? Email Professor Sanders at:

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