Miles College Students Find Purpose in Helping Homeless, Mentoring Children

We’re all about helping people. We do it in any way that we can.”

Whether feeding the homeless, mentoring young children or providing baby supplies for pregnant women, Lamar Benefield and Octavious Rush are always looking for ways to help others.

Benefield remembers seeing many homeless people bundled under blankets on the streets during a recent snow in the Birmingham area. “We’re able to go back to a home that’s warm, and not have to worry about being in the cold,” he said. “That really stuck with me.”

Octavious Rush (left) and Lamar Benefield
Octavious Rush (left) and Lamar Benefield

Benefield, 22, a founder of Brothers and Sisters Inquiring Change (BASIC) Movement, a community organization located in Alabama and Rush, 21, are students at Miles College, a UNCF-member institution. “We’re all about helping people,” said Benefield, a Huffman High School grad who is studying mass communications at Miles College, said. “We do it in any way that we can.”

BASIC has 15 members of all ages, including high school and professional workers. Benefield and Rush represent Miles College. Other members are all throughout the city and state. >> Read More in the Birmingham Times


Did You Know?

  • During the planning stages of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), when members were deciding in what test city to implement the Civil Rights Movement, it was proposed to go to Birmingham because the students at Miles College were already engaging in civic protests and boycotts against segregated public facilities. In essence, the Civil Rights Movement, in part came to Birmingham because of the activism of students at Miles College, helping to make Birmingham the Civil Rights Capital of the world.