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Leader of Alpha Phi Alpha Visits QC to Support Education

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

The leader of one of the largest African-American service organizations wants to promote brotherhood and mentorship in the Quad Cities. This weekend, Mark Tillman, general president of Alpha Phi Alpha, will speak at the 18th annual Black and Gold Scholarship Ball in Rock Island. 

Every year, the local chapter of the organization hosts the fundraiser to support college-bound young people in the area. Over the past 18 years, the local group has awarded over $20,000 in scholarships. Tillman says it's part of a national effort to narrow the education gap. 

"We have members who are anywhere from college presidents to professors and engineers, and so we know that when we have a membership that boasts that kind of industry base and career base within the organization that we can utilize that to support the mission of our organization, which also includes to provide service and advocacy to our communities."

For 70 years, Alpha Phi Alpha has offered mentorship through programs like "Go to School, Go to College," and a leadership development institute. Tillman says they teach young men time management, goal setting, and dressing for success. 

"We look at it as more holistic view of once you start your trek on becoming an adult, that these are the tools that would be needed to be a successful adult and be successful in your career and life," he says.

Tillman will speak at the 18th Annual Black and Gold Scholarship Ball tomorrow at 7 pm at the iWireless Center in Moline. 

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.