Keyshawn Blakes, a graduate student at Syracuse University, was first introduced to Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Kappa) as a high school student while applying for his bachelor’s degree. Upon receiving a scholarship from Kappa to assist with the cost of his schooling, something more happened that he hadn’t anticipated – a fraternal bond developed.
Kappa is a predominantly Black fraternal organization of college graduates with the main goals of community service and scholarship. The Syracuse Alumni chapter established the Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation in 1993 to award scholarships to young men that embody the essence of achievement in every field of human endeavor.
Blakes, a student at Nottingham High School at the time, was awarded the scholarship in 2013-2014.
“My parents worked hard my whole life to help afford my education, but college is still very expensive,” said Blakes. “When my OnPoint for College advisor told me I received the scholarship from Kappa, it was immensely helpful.”
Blakes was looking for a brotherhood where he could get the love and support he needed as a young man entering college, but where he could also provide the same love to others. He discovered this powerful dynamic as a member of the fraternity that recognized his potential while he was still in high school. He found himself joining the organization
“It’s a good feeling,” said Blakes. “The brothers have a lot of wisdom. Every time I see them, there’s always love. They provide me with valuable insights to try to help me grow.”
Keyshawn is currently a graduate student pursuing a degree in higher education at Syracuse University. This is something he is extremely passionate and proud of pursuing as it mirrors the journey of one of the fraternity’s founding members, Elder Watson Diggs.
For years, the fraternal organization dedicated efforts to young students in need, specifically Black, Native, and Latino students in the Syracuse and Onondaga community. In the beginning, before the organization obtained enough funding for a scholarship award, the brothers would take students to get new clothing for college.
Over time Kappa established relationships with the Central New York Community Foundation and other local organizations to accelerate the amount of financial capital available to support two partial scholarships for two students. The Chapter reports that a motivating factor in coming to the Community Foundation to establish the fund was the ability to have someone manage the money on their behalf.
To learn more about Kappa Alpha Psi and the Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship Fund, click here. To support the CNYCF Black Equity and Excellence Fund, please click here.