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Eaglecrest’s Brotherhood group focuses on leadership

Eaglecrest Brotherhood group When Eaglecrest High School created Brotherhood, a club for young Black men, it was conceived as a safe space for students to connect and support each other. This year, the group has begun to re-imagine what a safe space for students should look like.

“In the past, Brotherhood was very much a social group,” Eaglecrest math teacher and Brotherhood advisor Ikechukwu Ogbuike said. “Recently our vision has shifted to focus on inclusion and leadership. We want our students to learn how to be leaders in their school and communities.”

The group has brought in multiple speakers, including the Aurora NAACP president Omar Montgomery and Congressman Jason Crow, to discuss civic engagement. While getting together this year has been challenging for the group, the students are optimistic about the future.

“Being a part of Brotherhood has made my life better by me being more aware of things and how I can create change,” Eaglecrest freshman Jordan Johnson said. “It feels good to be part of something that I can relate to.”

Johnson, like his classmates, has not seen as many Black men in leadership roles and he hopes to change that. Being part of a group that shares leadership skills and encourages each other to find success has been very powerful for him.

For freshman Mogazi Lee, Brotherhood is a way to connect with others and gain the skills to achieve his goal of becoming a reconstructive surgeon. He wants to motivate others to stop hiding who they are and pursue their passions.

“I like showing kindness to others,” Lee said. “Going into reconstructive surgery means helping people become who they want to be. I’m starting to think about what I need now in order to make that a reality.”

Brotherhood’s new focus on leadership comes at an exciting time for many of the members who are just beginning to explore their high school careers. Marcus Turner, another freshman at Eaglecrest, has been thinking about how he wants to make his mark on the world.

“Being a leader means being a role model and helping others when they need aid,” Turner shared. “We can all be leaders in our own way. I’ve been thinking about journalism and bringing credibility to the job and have been taking a journalism class this semester.”

For Brotherhood students, the opportunity to practice leadership skills in a safe space such as high school has been a blessing. They expressed gratitude for the club as well as the supportive staff at Eaglecrest.

“Positivity is so important right now,” Lee added. “Positive leaders look out for their peers and help to build them up. That’s the kind of leadership we want to put into the world.”

 

Posted 4/19/21.