|Teen Board wins My Idea Grant|
CHATTANOOGA STUDENT RECEIVES NATIONAL GRANT TO BOLSTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE AMONG HIS PEERS
On Point Teen Board prepares to spread the message Don't Wait, Don't Hate, Participate, Graduate!
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (September 8, 2010) - Hamilton County student, Chris Brown, was awarded a $10,000 My Idea Grant from America's Promise Alliance and ATT today. The My Idea grant program was created to engage young people in decreasing high school dropout rates among their peers.
Brown's idea, Don't Wait, Don't Hate, Participate, Graduate!, will be put into action by the On Point Teen Board during the 2010/2011 school year. The Teen Board has selected ninth grade students as their target audience.
"We want to focus on ninth grade since the research shows so many students fall behind in their credits in that year and never get back on track to graduate," said Chris Brown, On Point Teen Board member. "As students ourselves, we know what the research says is true because we see the evidence everyday at our schools - those students who are involved in risk behaviors are falling further and further away from graduation."
The teen board's plan includes a peer mentoring program, focused on building development assets, for ninth grade students at five schools in Chattanooga. The plan also includes service learning projects, a local media campaign promoting graduation, and college preparation initiatives. The On Point Teen Board has also committed serving on youth panels and serving as youth liaisons to the Chattanooga community.
"First, we want teens to take graduation seriously from the beginning of high school --Don't Wait, then show them how to get the most out of their education-- Don't Hate, next we want to encourage teens to Participate by making healthy choices and becoming involved in their school and community. If teens do all these things they will Graduate!," said Brown. "We believe many of them may listen to us, as their peers, before they listen to more adults. Especially if we are living proof."
"We are so proud of Chris and our Teen Board for taking the initiative to create change in their schools and community," said Lesley Scearce, executive director for On Point. "It's inspiring to see students care so much about their peers that they are willing to invest their own time in a project that has the potential to impact the entire city."
The following students are members of the On Point Teen Board:
Shylind Nance, Tyner Academy
Whitney Graham, Hixson High School
Mary Davis Kennedy, The Baylor School
Ashley Jones, Red Bank High School
Chris Brown, Hixson High School
Laura Giles, Notre Dame High School
Marcus Lee, Brainerd High School
Bria Ramsey, East Hamilton High School
Sarah Weaver, Home School
Deanna Kobet, Soddy Daisy
About On Point:
On Point is a youth development program that enables teenagers, with their families and community, to make healthy choices that eliminate high-risk behaviors. On Point teaches and mentors 15,000 local teenagers each year. For almost 20 years On Point has partnered with schools and civic organizations to provide its program to private and public middle and high schools free-of-charge. Additionally, On Point produces curriculum and trains other organizations to implement programs in their communities. The On Point program is currently used in 40 states and four foreign countries. For more information visit www.liveonpoint.org