SAAB creates a positive peer community of upwardly mobile African American young men based on a commitment to a spirit of caring. Tyrone recognized that in order to care for others, one must care for oneself, and that this is the key to social responsibility. He also realized that the only ones who credibly communicate and illustrate this message to African American males are their peers. Therefore, SAAB is structured to help these young men self-organize around the principle “I am my brother’s keeper, and together we will rise.”
SAAB distinguishes itself from other minority student programs in three ways. First, its success rate: 86% of its members graduate from college, compared to a national average of 42% among black men. Second, to be a member one must accept the charge to be a role model.
SAAB members are polite, sincere, hardworking, and encouraging because they know that this is counter to the popular but offensive image of young black men in America. Furthermore, members are required to tutor and mentor high school students as a way to seed the same caring spirit that SAAB seeks to instill in them. Compared to other fraternal organizations geared towards the same population, SAAB maintains strict membership requirements unrelated to entertainment or sports. Indeed, campus chapters must adhere to annual membership requirements to remain part of the national network.
Campus chapters form when a 15 member student leadership steering committee gains school/institutional endorsement/support and participates in a three (3) month training program. Paid dues make these trainings possible. Weekly study groups, business meetings and support of volunteerism and community involvement are other requirements of all SAAB chapters.