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Edgecombe Community College President Greg McLeod, right, stands with honor scholar Michael Parker at graduation in May. McLeod hopes to encourage other young men to aim high like Parker through a free event on the Tarboro campus on Oct. 19.

Edgecombe Community College is hosting a free event designed to empower male students attending ECC and Edgecombe County high schools on Oct. 19.

“Food, Fun and Fellowship” will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. on the Tarboro campus at 2009 West Wilson St.

Sponsored by ECC’s EMPAC Club, “Food, Fun and Fellowship” will unite mentors and other students for fellowship, networking, free food, games and giveaways.

EMPAC — Empowering Males with a Purpose to Achieve and Celebrate — is a mentoring program at the college that encourages males to assist one another with the development of life skills needed to succeed at home, in school, and in the community.

“In today’s society, males in general, and minority males in particular, face unique and significant challenges as they pursue academic, career and social success in life,” ECC President Greg McLeod said.

While only 23 percent of ECC students are male, about 46 percent of Edgecombe County residents are male.

“Edgecombe Community College data mirrors nationwide trends,” McLeod said. “Males are enrolling in college at alarmingly low rates, and those who do are arriving largely unprepared or underprepared to succeed there.

“As a first step, we want to focus on building our young men’s expectations of themselves, their drive and determination, and their ability to be resourceful and collaborative. That’s the fundamental objective of this kickoff event that targets our male students.”

Additional events for young men are planned throughout the academic year, including a dress for success forum, a technology camp and a program celebrating academic achievement and leadership.

Please go to edgecombe.edu/empac to learn more and to register for the Oct. 19 event.