By Liliana Duarte
Staff Writer

Lead by an inspirational writer poet and mentor, the Developing Afro American Professionals event was Friday, May 16, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in T1200 at the LAC.
The group was developed last semester by seven LBCC students. The event was organized to help students and others who chose to attend to enhance their skills and learn professional leadership skills. Walter C. Jones gave some inspirational insight of “Courage, Integrity and Character: Leading with Core Values.”
The event began with registration and a breakfast provided by the group. Afterwards the group’s vice president, Cedric Anderson, and LBCC President Eloy Oakley spoke.
Students chose two workshops from five offered. Each workshop lasted about an hour. The first workshop was “Communicating Professional: How to Convey Competence and Character in the Workshop.” This workshop tested students’ communication skills and taught them how they could improve.
Participants were also given tips for future interviews by communications studies instructor Christina Moorhead.
The second workshop was “The Importance of Being Your Authentic Self” given by DeWayne Sheaffer, the LAC department head of counseling and student support services. The workshop was not only to help students in their professional career, but also in their personal life.
Students learned a little more about themselves because of the workshop.
The third workshop was “Breaking Through: Overcoming Barriers and Challenges to Success.” The purpose was to help students with the challenges they may face through the journey to their career.
The workshop was given by Wayne Brown.
Dyrell Foster, dean of student affairs at Rio Hondo College, taught the “Developing Your Personal and Professional Identity” workshop.
Students learned that their past, beliefs and attitude can affect the way they think. It can affect their jobs, school and personal life.
The last workshop students could have chosen was “Making a Difference In Your Life and in Your Community” by Shalamon Duke, owner of the Guild Group Network and Herbert English Jr., director and counselor of EOPS at Moorpark College.
Students learned how to stand up for themselves and their community when needed.
Student Nailah Sewell, 19, a communications and psychology major, attended the event. Sewell said, “The atmosphere was awesome. About 100 people attended and it was a wonderful event. It was very overwhelming and exceeded well beyond my expectations and overall the atmosphere was great.
“All minority backgrounds showed up, from Asian descent to Hispanic to African American. It was fun and informative.”
Sewell is also the secretary of DAAP and said she’s excited to be the chair of next year’s group.
The group goes on college tours, volunteers in the community, organizes fundraisers and meets once a week to discuss Afro American conditions.