ZSL Foundation Programs

Mentorship / Scholarship-  Continued Academic Excellence Program (CAEP)

In the 1980s in response to the Alpha “Go to High School / Go to College” program, the Zeta Sigma Lambda foundation established a unique “Continued Academic Excellence Program” at Morse and subsequently at Lincoln High School by Bro. Dr. Payton C. Cook who was a high school principal.  It was decided to work with these two schools due to their high percentage of African Americans and specifically African American male students. The goals were to “target” those youth with 3.0 grade point averages and encourage/mentor them to complete high school and matriculate to college.  Another criterion is that the student must not receive a poor grade in citizenship. The chapter works with students 9th through 12th grade and those graduating seniors receive scholarships and book grant funds.

This long-running program, conducted at local high schools, features mentoring services, self-esteem workshops, and provides scholarship information to high school juniors and seniors when they matriculate to college. At the culmination of the program,  scholarships are awarded to each student during their first semester of college.

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade

The chapter has operated the Martin Luther King Jr Parade since 1987 and to date it is the largest parade in downtown San Diego. It began as a small neighborhood march and progressed to a recognized parade and was moved from the Southeastern area of San Diego to downtown San Diego when the Martin Luther King Jr Holiday was established. Ancillary to the parade is the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Pageant whereby a King and Queen are selected to participate in the upcoming MLK parade. The pageant has been traditionally held in November with the parade during the MLK holiday weekend (annually in January). At the forefront of these two programs has been Bro. Dr. Robert Matthews who was a local college president.

Martin Luther King Jr. Pageant

The Pageant’s purpose is to showcase the talents of youth from San Diego’s high schools. Candidates are encouraged to participate in a series of educational and cultural seminars throughout the year, and are presented to the community in a formal banquet event. Candidates are then encouraged to help fund the program by selling advertisements to the pageant’s souvenir program. In this way, they learn some of the basics of economics. All monies collected go toward cash awards they receive at the conclusion of the program. Candidates are judged at a gala event where the royal court is selected. They are then feted in the annual MLK Day Parade.  The Pageant is a joint venture with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.



ZSL Scholarship Breakfast

Our CAEP mentees are honored at a Scholarship Breakfast usually held in June at the end of near the end of the academic year. The Breakfast is a joint venture with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.  The students  receive their scholarship/book grant monies after matriculating to college with the award being granted at the end of their first semester of college (usually in December).  Another unique entity of this program is that the fraternity and/or the foundation purchases dress business attire for the students that they wear at the breakfast. In many cases our youth did not possess proper business attire.



MLK Golf Tournament

Our annual MLK Golf Tournament has been held on MLK day since 2003.This is a four man scramble format and includes an award lunch, cart, range balls, and tee prize packet with entry fee. 

Annual San Diego Sheila Hardin Multi-Cultural Festival

Led by the San Diego Alpha Foundation, this Multi-Cultural Festival showcases San Diego's rich cultural diversity and traditional heritage through live music, dance performances, storytelling, children's activities, and a wide range of food, educational and retail vendors was renamed the Sheila R. Hardin Multicultural Festival in 2011 in honor of the late Sheila R. Hardin, a long-time community activist and the driving force behind the Multi-Cultural Festival.

San Diego Multicultural Festival Facebook Page

ZSL Foundation
P.O. Box 50026
San Diego, CA 92165-0026