African American men have the highest unemployment rate by race and gender. Much needs to be done to end the “economic depression” black men are facing. They are facing systematic disadvantage on the job market. It’s always great to see young black men gaining opportunities for themselves and furthering their knowledge. The Alcorn State Career Development Conference provided one promising path for improving the employment situation of a black man.
Senior, Animal Science major Derrick Boast, a member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. had the chance to represent the Southern University Agricultural Sciences Department at the Alcorn State University Career Development Conference. With a passion for nature, Boast credits his upbringing for instilling a love for the agriculture business, “Where I’m from, I’ve been pretty much doing this all my life. So when it came to college and trying to see what I was going to do, it was a no brainer. I knew what I was good at. I knew what I like. If you like what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Majority of his experiences with the Southern’s agriculture department have been with his classes. One of which, Beef Cattle Production, allows students to be hands on with the cattle, helping with breeding, feeding, and cleaning. Boast has even taken a poultry class. “Anything you can think of with agriculture, I then probably did it just with the department. Plus, through my everyday life.”
Going into the conference, he never had an internship so he wasn’t trying to leave without one or at least some opportunity. His expectations of the conference were exceeded because he got to network with other members of the Divine Nine since the conference was a HBCU event. “Me being a member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., I got in touch with other brothers from other colleges. Just talking to them, I found out that some of them were the general managers over the National Resource Conservation Service.” From the conference, he learned about other classes that could possibly be incorporated into the curriculum at Southern University in the Agriculture department. At the conference, they helped him critique his resume and get ready for over all interviews on a federal level. His resume was almost perfect except for one small thing but they helped him correct it. Now it’s perfect and he’s ready for any job interview.
The senior felt amazing to be a part of something so great. “Not many people get opportunities that I’ve been getting where I’m from since I’ve been here at Southern University. So being out there and getting to represent Southern and my people is unreal.” He wasn’t nervous to represent SU at all! “Never, I rep that gold and blue with pride everywhere I go!” Boast said that we can be expecting great things in the future. “Everyone should be expecting big things coming back to Southern University, the Human Jukebox, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and just a whole lot of stuff.” We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this young Black man, Derrick.