On the ground, in the lives of students

Published 6:05 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

By Dr. Rickie R. Harris

I am excited to share information regarding the AIM Institute, a community partnership initiative. It will benefit students at West Orange – Stark High School. However, before I explain the AIM acronym, I would like to share the program ideology.

There is an undeniable co-dependence between a community school and that community. Schools have the duty of educating the most important community asset, the children; and, the community supports the school in that endeavor. Schools also require additional resources to accomplish education goals. Specifically, they need more than “tax money.”

Human resources are an important factor in how well the school develops and produces capable students. This must be done better together: schools and community. Local businessperson Darrell W. Terry’s vision for the West Orange-Cove community is for business and community leaders to become directly involved with selected students to help them become the most capable young men and women possible. The “AIM Institute” mission statement is “On the ground; in the lives of students.”

AIM Institute is a proactive initiative where leaders in the greater Orange area mentor students. Precisely, professionals inside industrial refineries, as well as other businesses, will mentor a student on the campus to cultivate a desire for better (Aspiration) present options (Inspiration) to accomplish goals; and, show a path (Motivation) to achieve ambitions.

Most of these mentor meetings will be “lunch learning” sessions. Students who can benefit from such a pairing and those recommended by school administration will participate in the AIM Institute.

The AIM Institute can show measurable improvement for students in the following areas:

  • Social skills, behavior, and adjustment to the school environment
  • Grades, test scores, and enrollment in higher-level classes
  • Absences
  • Class credits
  • Graduation rate and enrollment in post-secondary education
  • Exposure to the work world
  • Respect for others
  • Discipline

We are excited to launch AIM and to watch the positive impact that it will have upon our students. Thank you to Firestone Polymers for being our first local community partner in this program! We welcome others. Interested businesses and participants are welcome to contact me at Riha@woccisd.net.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Go Mustangs!

Dr. Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD