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MAN UP expands across NOVA Campuses with new members inducted at annual ceremony


Northern Virginia Community College’s MAN UP program has strengthened in membership and popularity for male students. A total of 39 new inductees from three of NOVA’s campuses pledged an oath to academic excellence and personal growth on Oct. 5th at MAN UP’s annual Induction Ceremony. The event was held at the NOVA-Woodbridge Lakeside Theatre.

MAN UP is a minority male mentoring and leadership development program designed to promote the personal and social development and academic improvement of NOVA students. The program was developed to increase retention, graduation rates and the academic performance of minority males, while providing the skills and motivation to reach these goals. Since its inception at the Woodbridge Campus, MAN UP has expanded to NOVA’s Manassas and Alexandria campuses, with Annandale to follow in spring 2018.

Cedric Howard, MAN UP program leader said last year student members participated in several local community service opportunities, which totaled 500 hours. As a result of determination and fortitude, MAN UP members have graduated from NOVA to pursue bachelor’s degrees from James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, American University, Clark Atlanta University, Tuskegee University, University of Virginia, George Washington University, the College of William and Mary and Virginia Tech.

“Every individual needs to be a part of something that is greater than ourselves,” said NOVA President Scott Ralls. “Collectively, we all need a strong support system behind us for motivation and inspiration. Every year MAN UP continues to grow across campuses, and it’s truly wonderful to see the growth of each individual member. This is the reason why MAN UP is so important to not only me, but each individual student.”

In 2013, an initial conversation among MAN UP Founder Richmond Hill and program leaders Rommel Aguilar, Lando Lowe, Cedric Howard and Bobak Kasrai along with NOVA-Woodbridge Dean of Students Michael Turner to begin the organization on the Woodbridge Campus occurred.  Since then, the program currently has over 45 members. MAN UP Program Leaders Diego Aliaga (Manassas) and Donnell Smith (Alexandria) said they appreciate the pioneers before them who observed a need to develop a program for minority males. 

“As MAN UP members, we set goals and accomplish them. We will never be content with the status quo, because there is always something out in the world to achieve, just by reaching it,” said MAN UP member Nickolus Belk. “As a brotherhood, we not only strive for individual success, but we celebrate the accomplishments of each other. Our goal is to help our peers and community succeed.”

The mission of MAN UP is to promote and create access to supportive relationships that help minority males overcome barriers to college graduation. MAN UP is open to any minority male enrolled at NOVA who is committed to the program's vision and mission. All program activities and events are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin or other characteristics. 

For additional MAN UP information or membership interest, please visit their website.


Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.