Optimists learn about serving area youth

Omega Psi Phi is a service fraternity that seeks to influence young boys and men in a positive way to propel them to positive futures. On August 5, three members of the Omega Phi Chapter gave a presentation to the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo.

Although the fraternity begins membership during its brothers’ college years, that association continues well past those times. The list of members includes some impressive men, among whom are: Steve Harvey, Michael Jordan, Count Basie, former U.S. Poet-laureate Langston Hughes, and House Representative James Clyburn. Clyburn, incidentally, continues to be active in the fraternity’s ongoing work.

Some of the fraternity’s community service projects include: 1) Assembling and delivering Christmas and Thanksgiving food baskets, 2) Efforts to connect kids with law enforcement in a positive environment, and 3) Freedom School for kids from Grade 3 and up, emphasizing reading and mathematics.

Regarding the Freedom School, the speakers noted that today’s youth tend to speak and communicate in the same language they use for texting. While texting shorthand might work well in social interaction, it is not useful in a job interview setting or the day-to-day business world.

The four bedrock principles that Omega Psi Phi seeks to instill are Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift.

Charles Riley, a member of Omega Psi Phi Omicron Phi chapter, is a Ruffin, South Carolina native and an alumnus of Ruffin High School class of 1984.


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