WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
I graduated in May from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Fitness and a minor in Leadership and Public Service. I am currently still attending the University as a part of the Accelerated Nursing Program and will graduate (again) in July 2017! I am still competing in triathlons for the Mizzou Triathlon Club Race Team with my next race in September. I will be forever grateful for the time I got to spend with this wonderful organization, hope all is well.
The photo attached is from my last clinical day this summer at Rusk Rehab!
Nutrition Team Fall 2014
I had the honor of serving as the 1st College Coordinator of Grade A! (formally Michael’s Center) previously while volunteering as a tutor for 3 years. I recall when we were Michael Center at Vandiver, then Michael Center at Parkade, Michael Center at Bethany with less than 7 kids, and now we’ve nestled at Second with the support of Dr. Clyde Ruffin as Grade A. I’m so very proud of Dr. Threat’s stick-to-itiveness, passion for educating our youth, and continuous growth of the program.
As coordinator, I took pride in recruiting a dedicated team of volunteers that could assist in the educational uplift of our students, as well as increase parent/guardian involvement. There are many memorable moments and stories that I could tell, but what was great was seeing the kids eager to meet their tutors every Tuesday, watching the quiet kids come out their shells, and having a parent tell me that our work inspired her to go back to school.
The skills I gained with Grade A! were invaluable! After graduating from Mizzou I was contacted by the Director of Access Initiatives & Special Assistant to the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management of the University of Missouri that heard about the Grade A! tutoring program and I was offered an opportunity as a College Adviser for the National College Advising Corps in which I served 2 years at a public school in Kansas City, MO - helping low-income underrepresented students and parents see college as an attainable goal.
My advice to you students is to 1. Keep showing up, 2. Discover your purpose, 3. Give H.O.P.E. I commend you and your parents already for enrolling in the program because showing up is half the battle and you are going the extra mile in which your peers are not. Discover your “why” in life; you all are young and energetic and it’s not too early to start that journey. Intelligence and discovering who you are is predicated on really good questions and you have so many resources around you in the tutors, Dr. Threat, and the many places you’ll travel throughout the program. Lastly, give H.O.P.E. that is to “Help One Person Everyday” the more you give willingly, the better you are to receive positive things and opportunities. You can do that by sharing your experience or what you’ve learned through Grade A! with one of your peers…who knows they just might join you!
Note from Reverend Threat:
Gerald was our last senior student manager under The Michael Center name, when we only had about 3 students participating in the program. I was near defeat and ready to close the program. He asked if he could suggest a format change and bring in some underclassmen to help change the program. He brought us the magnificent 7 I called them. They made their presentation to our board while they were sophomores. They suggested making the tutoring program two times a week and build in a leadership development component for college students. Thus Grade A! was born. Gerald graduated, we applied for a United Way grant in 2011 that included their component and won the grant. That 7 worked the program for two years until it became the award winning group volunteer of the years in 2013. The seven then graduated, and the program goes on with service learning students as the main sustainers of the leadership component along with ever faithful NSBE and Alpha Phi Alpha organizations.