The Henry Arthur Callis Academy is a comprehensive, self-empowering college readiness program designed to support African American young men who live in the District of Columbia, however young men from surrounding areas expressing an interest will not be denied admission. Named after one of the seven founding members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Henry Arthur Callis Academy is a central program of the Mu Lambda Foundation, inc., a non-profit 501c(3) organization founded in 1994 by members of the Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. The mission of the Mu Lambda Foundation, Inc. is to serve mankind, promote scholarship, and enhance the knowledge and achievement of males of all ages.


The Henry Arthur Callis Academy has its roots in the Mu Lambda Beautillion Program.  Beginning in 1991, the Beautillion Program provided weekend workshops, social experiences, mentoring, and scholarships to the more than 190 young men who participated. The Beautillion Program was conceived as a “rites of passage” experience where young men learned critical information as they moved from adolescence to manhood. The culminating event for the Beautillion Program, the Beautillion Gala, grew tremendously over the years and serves as a premier Washington D.C. event.  At the gala, polished young men were presented to over 450 community leaders, parents, and Men of Alpha. After close to 20 years of successfully staging and facilitating the Beautillion Program and Gala, the Mu Lambda Foundation, Inc. took lessons learned from this experience and established the Henry Arthur Callis Academy in 2013.

In 2016-17, the Mu Lambda Foundation, Inc., the Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the District of Columbia Public Schools developed a partnership to bring the Henry Arthur Callis Academy to Ballou High School in Southeast DC.  In the 2016-17 academic year, Ballou High School males in the 9th grade will be invited to participate in academy activities. Each year a grade level will be added until the Academy reaches young males at Ballou High School in grades 9 - 12.

Academy Activities

Henry Arthur Calls Academy activities include:

10 College Readiness Courses

  1. Organization and Study Skills for College
  2. Selecting, Applying to, and Financing College (Parents encouraged to attend)
  3. Presentation Skills and Public Speaking
  4. Selecting a College Major
  5. Responding to Racial Profiling, Stereotyping, and Racism in Society
  6. Health and Nutrition
  7. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  8. Financial Literacy
  9. Professional Attire and Grooming
  10. Etiquette and Social Skills in Professional Settings

Mentoring/Job Shadowing

  • Each Scholar will be mentored by a member of the Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. throughout the Academy and beyond
  • Scholars will shadow their mentor at the mentor's place of employment for the purposes of exposing the Scholar to the mentor's professional role and responsibilities

College/University Visit

  • Scholars will spend the day at a local college or university and shadow college students as they attend classes and navigate the college environment

Social Events & Positive Interactions

  • Scholars will participate in social events and interactions that are positive, healthy, empowering, and affirming

Black & Gold Gala

  • Scholars will be recognized at the annual Mu Lambda Chapter Black & Gold Gala each Spring