Omega Squires acts as mentorship program for young Black men



Inaya Henley, Sports and Features writer

In 2009, the Beta Upsilon Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. found a desire to provide mentors for young black men in Omaha. First, there was an elementary level program named Project Manhood & Friends, and after the men saw the satisfaction of the program, efforts were made to come up with a similar opportunity for young men in high school.

The high school initiative came to a conclusion when a partnership with Omaha North High School was formed and the Omega sQuires mentoring program was created. Currently, there are 21 young men of North that are involved in this program.

There are four pillars that help guide the Omega sQuires program, which are scholarship, fitness, service and leadership. Through these pillars, the young men are able to establish lifelong relationships with each other by helping by developing necessary skills and experiences that can better prepare themselves for their futures.

Dean of Students, Skyler Johnson, is currently apart of the committee members that works with the program, as well as one of the men who helped start the program in 2009. Johnson hopes to help the young men in the program become more involved in the community, and to help set them up for a successful future.

The young men that are apart of the Omega sQuires gain many opportunities, such as working with other OPS students, acquiring scholarship knowledge, developing leadership skills and collaborating with community members.

“I have seen the Omega sQuires do many different things like register their classmates and teachers to vote, lead STD awareness campaigns, participate in step show exhibitions, help with Thanksgiving and Christmas events, and be awarded full ride collegiate scholarships,” Skyler Johnson said.

This past fall, the organization participated in the Omaha North High “Boo Bash” by handing out candy
for Halloween. Then in November, they gave out turkeys to families for Thanksgiving. The event was the
first big turkey giveaway since the Covid-19 breakout in 2020.

“I love the work that the program does and how it is beneficial for the students involved,” Johnson said.

Miles Johnson, 11, is an active participant in the Omega sQuires program.

Miles Johnson was always affiliated with Omega Psi Phi growing up, being as his father has been a member for years. This was one of the main contributors that inspired him to be
apart of the organization.

He started off in Project Manhood & Friends while he was in elementary school. As he grew older, Miles Johnson transitioned to the Omega sQuires.

“Project manhood was basically Omega sQuires for younger students and then we started adding ‘friends’ to it which opened the group up to girls and more people,” Miles Johnson said.

Miles Johnson attends the monthly meetings for the program, as well as volunteering with the food giveaways and attending HBCU tours with the organization.

“Before Covid hit we were giving out thanksgiving dinners to families in need and we would give out food to the homeless shelter as well,” Miles Johnson said.

Another student from Project Manhood program is now a sQuire, Keon’Shay Moton, 12.

“I wanted to join because I always wanted to be a part of a brotherhood, and I felt like the Omega sQuires fitted me the most,” Moton said. Moton, feels like he found his place with the Omega sQuires after single-handedly picking the sQuires as the group he wanted to join.

After joining the sQuires, Moton has found himself meeting many mentors and new people. He has become more of a leader among other students in the school community.

“This is a really good program which has a lot of good connections and good mentors that will help set you up for the future,” Moton said. Volunteer work is one of the many things that he enjoys about being apart of the Omega sQuires, and he hopes to continue to contribute to his community further in the future.

The current school year has produced one of the largest group of sQuires in the program’s history. The number from before the pandemic to now has doubled. There were only about ten young men before, now there are over twenty.

The sQuires plan to continue to help young men and build generations of leaders in their school community.