UA Revive members empower high schoolersBy Lauren Lane | 03/23/2015 11:30pm
The University of Alabama’s Revive Progress Association has made efforts to make voter registration more convenient for University of Alabama students, working with political organizations and by providing high school students with opportunities to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.
RPA focused specifically on mentoring in two schools, Oak Hill and Central High School, and it collaborated with The University of Alabama to help students succeed.
Trevin Fluker, a junior majoring in political science and president of RPA, said the organization began as a partnership between UA students and the principal of Central High School.
“A class was developed in the New College with a ten-day program that focuses on getting CHS of off the failing school list,” he said.
To be on the failing school list, a school must be in the bottom 6 percent for test scores in Alabama. The organization combats this issue by working with the Kick Start College program, which has over 950 graduates from middle schools and high schools across Tuscaloosa County. These at risk students are taken on the University campus for a tour and receive mentoring from college students. They also get to listen to speakers from the University and Shelton State Community College admissions, as well as from prominent citizens of Tuscaloosa.
A more recent initiative focused on working with Oak Hill School. Undre Phillips, a senior majoring in secondary education and head of educational outreach for RPA, said Oak Hill is particular in its ability to help get high school students back on track and earn their way out of the alternative school setting.
“Most alternative schools are just waiting zones for those who lag behind or have made bad decisions,” Phillips said.
With the help of Ty Blocker, the principal at Oak Hill and the rest of RPA, Phillips and his peers saw more students begin to graduate and earn enough hours on time, making the school a help instead of a hindrance to the education of struggling students.
This issue is one that David Turner, a sophomore majoring in engineering and RPA vice president, has taken to heart.
“A lot of those kids don’t have any positive influences at home, so that’s your chance to really give back,” Turner said. “The position we are in right now gives us the opportunity to go back into the community and say ‘Hey, I was just in your shoes a couple years ago’ and get the chance to relate to those people.”
Turner said the group’s mission was one of empowerment.
“Everyone is pretty much familiar with the saying, ‘If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he will eat for eternity,’” Turner said. “We are trying to equip these kids with the skills so that they can go out into the world and not just live but be prosperous.”