For four years, Michael Benbow has been a research assistant for the New York State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie. “Every day, we are doing something different so it makes my job really exciting. I’ve learned so much working under a politician. It also made me realize that I want to further my career in human services and become a crisis manager.”
Benbow is on the event board of the “Music Over Violence” annual event. “‘Music Over Violence’ is an event that takes places in North Bronx where residents come and talk about the violence in the community and the ways to prevent it. Last year, we had people showcase their artwork and music. HoodCelebrityy who sings ‘Walking Trophy,’ performed her single. We also honored Love & Hip Hop’s Peter Gunz for the work he has done in our community.”
Benbow is also in the works of starting a visual company with his cousin, “This quarantine situation messed up a lot when it comes to small Black businesses. People started to dip in to their savings and are taking back their investments. I’ve seen it first hand with my cousin. I wanted to help and become involved.” He is now on the board of directors.
Benbow earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the University of Bridgeport and is currently earning his masters at Georgetown. During his time as an undergrad, Benbow was initiated into the Mu Phi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in spring 2018. “I became interested in the organization for several reasons but it all started with my chapter. They had many positions on campus and were truly a representation of what leadership is. Mu Phi is the oldest D9 chapter on campus, so they had a lot of history and had a huge impact of what Greek life is today.”
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was founded on Dec. 4, 1906 by seven African American men at Cornell University. It is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity. Benbow expressed that his father also had an influence on him joining a D9 organization. “My father is a member of another organization. I knew that if I was going to join a D9 then my heart would have to be in it. He was very supportive of my decision and that’s what matters. I would always advise that those who are seeking Greek life should do research on the organization. Being in a fraternity and a sorority is more than partying, there is a lot of work!”