History of Guide Right

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History of Guide Right

In the infancy of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity when chapters were blossoming and flourishing throughout the length and breadth of the United States, both individual and collective efforts were being made to incorporate meaningful programs into the various local chapter activities.

The very foundation of Guide Right can be traced to the St. Louis Alumni Chapter and Leon W. Steward, who rightfully is dubbed as the “Father of the Guide Right Movement”.

According to the story of Kappa Alpha Psi, soon after the St. Louis Alumni Chapter’s beginning in 1921, Brothers Leon W. Steward and J. Jerome Peters were assigned to study the needs of active chapters for guidance and funds and to devise a “meaningful and practical approach” to the problem.

Ultimately, Brother Steward, a Y.M.C.A. secretary, proposed a program of guidance to be designated as Guide Right. Its purpose was to assist high school seniors to choose and pursue useful careers, consistent with fraternity’s purpose. This program was immediately adopted at the local level and the 12th Grand Chapter adopted Guide Right as the national service program.

The focus of Guide Right, from its inception, was to provide scholarships to needy and talented students, and to inform young people in the professions and career options.

The basic objectives of Guide Rights may be summarized as follows:

    1. To inspire service in the public interest through the cultural enrichment and character development of African American males.
    2. To develop leadership skills while monitoring, encouraging, and rewarding outstanding academic performance.
    3. To refine self-image, self-esteem, social skills, and environmental awareness.
    4. To assist parents in the handling of their children by giving them opportunities to talk over their problems with those who know and are successful in their chosen vocations.
    5. To afford the less fortunate youths a respite from the drudgery of the streets, through sponsored entertainment and cultural enrichment.
    6. To inform youth of the values of higher education, of assistance available for continued educational pursuits, scholarships, loans, professional counseling, fellowships, etc.; of various occupational and professional opportunities; and of current lab or demands and the trends on the labor market, supply rewards, etc.

Kappa Alpha Psi’s commitment to young people is well established, and our Guide Right efforts, both individual and collective, can continue to serve as a mechanism to “inspire service in the public interest” ( excerpts taken from “Guide Right – A Historical Perspective”).