SAAB Saturday at Tiffin University

“Get in the station wagon and get started doing something productive or positive in your life,” advised Student African American Brotherhood founder, Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, to members attending a conference at the University of Toledo in November.

“No more excuses; be accountable; be humble,” he said to over 200 members who came from Northwest Ohio and Michigan to be a part of the SAAB Saturday conference.

SAAB Saturday is held to bring members together to discuss ideas, such as developing a professional manner and being effective in work and personal relationships. The presenters conducted an activity that allowed the brothers to understand the significance of ‘core values.’ They are Malcom Keith Jr., Nathan Strickland, Sheldon James, Zachary Walk, and Samuel Latimer. These people have obtained many leadership positions on campus, such as student ambassadors, resident assistants, supplemental instructors and peer leaders. Dr. Bledsoe commended all members for striving to be leaders on their respective campuses. He then shared his experiences of serving in leadership positions during his undergraduate years.

“I went to college not to be a resident assistant but to only major in pre-med… that is until I met chemistry,” Dr. Bledsoe said wryly. He saw people who were similar to himself reaping benefits because of their involvement on campus and strong communication skills. “About 76 percent of business tragedies and internal networking problems come from the absence of communication,” he said.

Students can develop strong communication skills by adopting a professional manner, Dr. Bledsoe said. One of the reasons he believes students struggle with writing their academic papers is that they are too casual; using informal “texting” language which he believes impedes developing professional communication skills. Bledsoe’s answer is to maintain a professional demeanor when using social media. “What you do most is what you do best,” he said.

To avoid being too casual, sophomore Malcom Keith Jr., an information technology major, said he sticks firmly to using professional and academic writing in his social media conversations, whatever the occasion. He believes that this decreases the probability of making frivolous mistakes.

In addition to the six members from Tiffin University’s chapter, Toledo Public Schools assistant superintendent, Dr. Romulus L. Durant, also gave a presentation at the conference. While dealing with the youth of the Toledo area, he has noticed that students neglect the opportunities the lie directly in front of their faces. His advice is to always have a purpose, especially when spending money. “Never let laziness or ignorance hinder you from receiving the benefits you deserve,” Dr. Durant said. Because of his motivation, he was awarded more than 15 academic scholarships during his beginning two years of college.

Dr. Durant said he took his work seriously and did not let obstacles, such as finances, laziness and ignorance overthrow his intelligence. Nor did he let those obstacles keep him from getting in the station wagon and doing something productive or positive.

Dr. Bledsoe said that the best way to get in the station wagon and embark on doing something productive or positive is to come together as a group. “Brothers just want to feel that love and sense of companionship,” he said.

Submitted by Sheldon James


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