Student organization aims to help grade school students improve FCAT scores

With the Florida Comprehension and Assessment Test date approaching, a newly founded organization on campus plans to help students at FAMU DRS pass.

Students Studying for Success is an organization started by sophomore Aja Watkins in an effort to mentor and tutor young people for not only the FCAT, but for overall success in school.

“Because society tends to focus more on the negative aspects of our black youth, like stealing, fighting and underachievement, Students Studying for Success will help to project the positive aspects,” said Watkins, a 19-year old nursing student from Washington.

“This organization would concentrate mainly on tutoring in reading, writing and math, while also mentoring students,” she said.

Though it is a fairly new organization, members believe that it will have a positive impact on the youth.

“I think that the organization gives the young people an opportunity to see that someone cares about them,” said Maia Daniels, 19, a second year biology pre-med student from Washington. “If we are out there helping them in turn, when they grow up they will want to give back to the community as well.”

In a weekly meeting every Wednesday the group discusses new and innovative ideas that they hope will make learning and receiving mentoring a fun experience for the students they will work with.

“I have been with the organization since it began back in December,” said Akilah Mayo, a 19-year old biology pre-med student from Washington. “We want to make the experience for the students so enjoyable they will want to come back again and again.”

Not only do members think that the organization has the benefits of helping the community, other students outside the organization believe that it is a breath of fresh air for young people.

“I like the fact that Students Studying for Success reaches out to the young people in our community,” said Zachery Jenkins, 19, a second year construction engineering student from Jacksonville. “Mentoring and tutoring students for the FCAT is a great thing, especially in the African American community.”

The organization has a heavy emphasis on tutoring but wants FAMU students to know that mentoring is also a major part of helping the young people.

“The students would not only get help with the FCAT they will also get a mentor who will listen and respect them, a true friend,” Watkins said.

Members wish that more students would join the organization because of all the positive things they are trying to accomplish.

“Joining our organization will give FAMU students a chance to interact with, not only the young students we work with, but to also be around other college students who want to make a difference in the community,” Mayo said.

Though meant to help the young people in the nearby community, Watkins feels that Students Studying for Success also poses benefits for FAMU students.

“Being a part of this organization will be a way for FAMU students to give back to the community, primarily the disadvantaged schools, in a positive way.”

The main reason for Students Studying for Success is to uplift the young people while they journey through their academic years before entering college according to Watkins.

“Kids are fun to be around,” Watkins said. “Just like you can teach them, they can teach you. Basically, if we don’t focus, give back and do something, who will?”

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