Some University of Rochester students spent Sunday giving back. The campus organization Minority Male Leadership Association or MMLA held it first symposium focused on the success of city high school students.
"So the first thing that every man needs to know how to do, no matter race, creed, color or religion, is to know how to tie a tie," said John Davis, MMLA Member.
From tying ties to creating them, the Minority Male Success Symposium is about connecting 50 male students with mentors through a series of workshops.
"We wish to re-write the narrative for the minority male," said Clifford Pierre, MMLA Co-founder.
Pierre says their efforts are to help combat the alarming graduation statistics within the Rochester City School District.
"The system says one thing, the statistics say another. They can beat those statistics," said Pierre.
According to most recent statistics, not even half the students are graduating in the district.
Of those who are, only 9-percent are black males and 10-percent latino male students.
"For me, why isn't it better, compared to their counterparts? For me that brings a feeling of outrage," said Pierre.
"Sometimes people don't have anybody to motivate them," said Kamaran Moss.
The School of the Arts Senior says for him these workshops do just that.
"Seeing other African-American males and minorities speak to us about their lives and about making it, really inspires us," said Moss.
Organizers say their goal it to create a long lasting partnerships with the teens,
"This is going to be one of many," said Davis.
showing them they too can relate,
"We were once in their shoes," said Pierre.
and they too can be successful.
"I know college was always always a goal I would have to reach in my life," said Moss.