Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males

By Freeman A. Hrabowski III; Kenneth I. Maton et al. | Go to book overview
Finally, some students (13.5 percent of those interviewed) feel the program does not leave enough room for individual decision making and development.

All the checking up they do on us--at times I kind of resent it because I believe I can be doing as well on my own. But, like I was told, never turn down help. So I'm not, but at times I feel I can do it on my own.

Well, sometimes you do get labeled--you get a reputation of being Meyerhoffs. For me, I kind of shy away from being grouped. I want to do my own thing, be an individual.

The Program is like a family, and that adds a lot of support. You don't have to assume all the responsibility yourself at once. That's a plus, but, on the other hand, it's a fault too. When you get here, we're so focused on making an end product, reaching this Ph.D. degree, and far too much is outlined for you. I've seen people go through this process and realize that something's lost on the inside.

The students' comments about pressure and intrusiveness are similar in many regards to our earlier discussion about parents pushing children too much to succeed. We are aware that, both for parents and for programs, the tasks of balancing high expectations and challenge with support and nurturance, and of monitoring and shaping the behavior of young men without bringing about resentment or dependence are never easy. There clearly is no magic wand to child-rearing--or to running successful programs. Also, just as parents wonder if too much structure or nurturing in the home will cause problems for their sons when they move on to the realities of the college or work environment, so we wonder how these students will adjust to the realities of graduate or professional school life. Were the students well served by the program's four years of structure and monitoring, or will the challenges of adjusting to the unstructured graduate school environment be too great? Fortunately, anecdotal reports to date have been very positive. 42
Summary
1. The Meyerhoff Program, for the vast majority of students, provides a continuation of the empowering and effective parenting the students received in their precollege years. 43 The program provides students with a guiding belief system or vision, opportunities to devel

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