Alex Peay 2009, the founder of “Rising Sons” while at Ursinus, is one of 10 winners of the Black Male Engagement (BME) project awards. He is also is the recipient of a grant to continue his work with the organization.
Rising Sons began at Ursinus in 2007 as a small discussion group. But with the help of two other Ursinus alumni, Mubarak Lawrence and Stephen Harris, Peay transformed Rising Sons into a non-profit which empowers underserved youth through personal and professional development as they give back to their communities through service. Rising Sons now has 12 dedicated members who help run five programs in four Philadelphia Public Schools for 75 students based on activities involving computer technology, performing arts, mentoring, outreach, and sports without any outside funding.
“We’re a family,” Peay told The Philadelphia Inquirer in an article published Jan. 24. Last weekend, they took a group to a Sixers game. Peay said the $4,650 BME grant would allow Rising Sons to raise more money by holding events such as bake sales, design T-shirt uniforms as a sign of unity, and go on field trips.
For the awards, more than 1,000 African American males of all ages posted their stories of strengthening communities across Philadelphia. The BME initiative aims to recognize those long engaged in their communities; reinforce their work by inspiring others to support such efforts; and reward them with funding.
Peay spent time in City Year, Philadelphia, and at Ursinus, won the Teresa L. Urban Leadership Award, the Alumni Senior Award and was selected class Commencement speaker. In addition Peay also sat on the Judicial Board, Campus Planning and Priority Committee and was former president of the Pre-Law Society.
The BME Initiative is backed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the
Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievemet . To see more of the Rising Sons impact in a Philadelphia school, watch this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-odsMqu9DtE.