"We are trying to teach them to make better choices and latch onto a career or trade that they might be interested in and we are doing that at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. We want them to grow up and have a mindset for helping their community." Kenneth D. Lawson, Alpha Boys' Institute Founder
Kenneth D. Lawson Alpha Boys' Institute
While working with a single mother asking for mentoring help for her son, the Beta Eta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, uncovered alarming statistics about middle school boys (and girls) dropping out of school during the transition from middle school to high school. They seemed to also lack ambition and prone to make other bad choices. Around the same time the Beta Eta Lambda Chapter were planning and organizing to address this issue, we learned of the growing epidemic called, "school-to-prison pipeline" that starts at the middle school age and link to a high school dropout rate at identified Oklahoma City low performing schools.
After multiple meetings in 2014, the Beta Eta Lambda Scholarship Foundation of Alpha Phi Alpha launched the Alpha Boys' Institute with the mission of significantly improving these alarming dropout and crime involvement trends. The boys in our program are taught life skills and introduced to different careers/trades. On November 9, 2021, the Board of Directors voted to recognize the founder, Kenneth D. Lawson, through renaming the Alpha Boys' Institute in his honor.