I went to college to major in Civil Engineering.... because I could see the end of the tunnel with me as the VP of some corporation making Bug money..... but nothing could of prepared me for the shock when I got addicted to teaching in 2002. I now am a high school math teacher and this is where the story gets excting.
I wish you could have been there with me when I heard them say his name, “Arturo Guevarra!” Watching him walk across the stage to receive his high school diploma was one of the happiest moments of my teaching career. Arturo was the first graduate of The Ever Forward Club and we are seeking assistance from the community so that we may sustain the achievements of this amazing organization.
You see, my relationship with Arturo did not begin on a good note. On his first day in my class, Arturo wrote some gang-related symbols on his name-tag. On the second day of class I had some pretty harsh words with him, and he gave me a look that I will never forget; it was as if no one had ever spoken to him like that, setting limits and expectations.
This is where The Ever Forward Club was conceived. It had no name then, but I knew if I could connect with Arturo and show him a win-win alternative to his current negative social group, it would be powerful for both of us. I continued to push and pull Arturo, pushing him into positive environments while ever so gently pulling him from the negative influences.
In the spring of Arturo’s sophomore year, during a staff development meeting at San Lorenzo High School, data was presented to show that 47% of Latino males and 43% of African American males were failing 2 or more classes. I knew that something had to be done. I immediately invited fifteen young men of color to join forces and become a part of this wild idea of mine, The Ever Forward Club. Originally ten accepted the proposal, but in the Fall, those five students helped us grow to seventeen our first year.
Arturo was the first of the four founding members, of The Ever Forward Club, to graduate from San Lorenzo High School. And thanks to his dedication that year, in 2009 Ever Forward, Inc., home of The Ever Forward Club, received its 501(c)3 non-profit status and will be expanding to other schools and districts in 2010.
The Ever Forward Club is the largest and most active club at San Lorenzo High School.
Our success includes:
>100% graduation rate of the students who commit to being a part of our club by attending weekly meeting and participating in events; as of June 2008 we have had over 32 students graduate.
>100% of our students attended 2 or 4 year colleges immediately after graduation.
>53 first generation college students attended our annual college tours to Southern California.
>Six consecutive "Annual 24 Hour Relay" challenges, the event is the largest community-building project by any group in the history of the San Lorenzo USD.
>8 Ever Forward Club members have participated in life-changing outdoor education trips and mentoring opportunities, in partnership with Summer Search.org .
The mission of The Ever Forward Club is to create communities of students who set and achieve their personal goals inside and outside the classroom. Through mentoring, goal setting and academic support we empower students to partner with a community that is dedicated to their success. Your participation will not only say that you support the community, but that you are dedicated to kids learning as well.
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