CARBONDALE (WSIL) — Several dozen students attended the annual Simon Leadership Program at SIU Saturday and Sunday.
The program acts as a fun, but educational, way to encourage young African American men to seek out leadership roles and to excel.
There were several STEM-related activities, keynote speakers, a dinner, and chances to see what the college experience is like.
Illinois State Senator Christopher Belt has spoke at the program for several years, and he says it’s important kids have an active role model and a chance to see what opportunities are ahead of them.
"I just love to be a part of things like this. I believe in mentorship; I believe you cannot be something unless you see something. I believe you need to experience all of the opportunities that are abound, and so whatever I can do to be a part of things like this, I’m on board," says Belt.
Students who attended the program additionally had the opportunity to stay the night in the dorms and get the full college experience.
Everyone was also encouraged to get out and see SIU’s football game.