Baptist Temple Church of Pittsburgh, PA, Celebrates Academic Achievement of Minority Youth

Darryl Wiley, CEO of FAME, addresses a gathering Sunday at Baptist Temple Church, where members of his organization were honored. (Emmai Alaquiva)
Darryl Wiley, CEO of FAME, addresses a gathering Sunday at Baptist Temple Church, where members of his organization were honored. (Emmai Alaquiva)

Taylor Robinson, a senior at The Ellis School, stood before the gathering Sunday at Baptist Temple Church of Homewood and explained what it means to be a FAME scholar.

She had just been honored for earning straight A’s and receiving the Community and Citizenship Award — two of the many honors bestowed upon students, mentors, staff and board members of FAME, the Fund for Advancement of Minorities Through Education.

FAME is a college preparatory program representing seven independent schools in the Pittsburgh area. The ceremony Sunday kicked off an initiative of the Baptist Temple Church to provide ongoing recognition of youth accomplishments.

Ms. Taylor explained that during her four-year FAME experience, she has had SAT prep, made networking connections and visited more than 20 colleges. She also had arrived at Ellis without any second-language experience, “and honestly, I was struggling with Spanish. However, FAME immediately stepped in and provided tutoring and extra service learning.”

It wasn’t long before she was an A student in Spanish.

FAME, located at 6031 Broad St., East Liberty, began in 1994, offering pre-college services for African-American students at Ellis, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy, St. Edmund’s Academy, Winchester Thurston School, The Kiski School and Western Reserve Academy. There are currently more than 80 FAME scholars, CEO Darryl T. Wiley said while addressing the BTE gathering.

Working with the Rev. Rodney Lyde, sisters Patrice Alaquiva, 28, and Alyse Alexander, 27, organized the event that bridged Baptist Temple Church’s commitment to acknowledging youth achievement and FAME. Ms. Alaquiva began the scholar’s program as a 14-year-old at Winchester Thurston, where today she is associate director of college counseling, while Ms. Alexander is a classroom therapist at Friendship Academy.

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SOURCE: Sharon Eberson
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette