Making an IMPACT on students at Salisbury High | Schools
SALISBURY - What stereotypes do you associate with high school students, and particularly young African-Americans?
Some students at Salisbury High say that the perception is often a negative one and they are determined to create an example of change.
They start with a student led prayer, then get down to the business of creating change. What was student Ronald Robinson like before he became part of this group?
"Hanging with the wrong people, doing the wrong things when I actually became a part of this group it brought me to my sense that you don't have to be the same as everybody else," Robinson told WBTV.
Now he's part of IMPACT at Salisbury High School. It stands for Inspiring Males Promoting Achievement Character and Trust. Started by two teachers and advisers Christopher McNeil and Scott Maddox with the idea of finding the potential that's present in young lives.
"We're here to serve and give back," said student Patrick Jones. "You can do anything you put your mind to, you can't allow what people say to you to determine how you live your life."
And every Thursday you can spot the IMPACT group members by the bow ties they wear, not because they have to, but because they want to.
"It represents honor, respect, trust, and responsibility," Robinson added.
"It symbolizes that we are different," said student Bobby Johnson, Jr. "We aren't going to be like everybody else, we don't want to be normal, we want to be above normal. "It's okay to pull your pants up, it's okay to tie a bow tie."
They say they represent these values by mentoring and tutoring Knox Middle school students, and taking on issues like bullying. They have their own responsibilities as students.
"They're not the perfect student but one thing we're trying to mold them to be is the model student to carry on throughout Rowan County and the state of North Carolina," said adviser Christopher McNeil.
They say being part of this group has changed their lives and their own perceptions about who they are and who they will become.
"Majority people know African Americans as cussing, sagging, or killing others or something like that, and I feel like that's not true, that's not true at all, that's stereotyping and that's what we're trying to prevent," Johnson added.
Students are chosen for this group, they are not what you'd call at risk students, but more like students who have overcome some challenges in life, and exhibit some kind of potential as defined by the two advisers.
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