Students Explain “Why PFY?”

Jovia at Work at the Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute at NCCU

Proving Myself

Raleshia Douglas, PFY freshman mentor at Durham Technical Communty College

Partners for Youth has changed the way I think about academics as a student. Back in my freshman year, I really wasn’t into anything academic or what you would consider positive. I was just enjoying my high school experience, not knowing the stress factors of credits, grade point averages, and volunteer work. I didn’t reach a turning point until my second report card when I had only two credits and needed six to go on to the tenth grade. To make a long story short, I spent the remainder of my ninth grade year sweating bullets to pass — which I managed by a landslide!

So tenth grade year I tried to be on point with my school work. About mid-September that year, I was called to the Guidance Office. At first, I thought I was in trouble again for something I did early that morning, but instead I was introduced to Partners for Youth, aka PFY. PFY helped me boost my grades by 70%, and stayed on me about making me go to tutoring, and gave me sound advice — plus the food is banging too!

Now when I go to school, I still wild out, but I make sure I do my work also. Plus, the program always keeps me motivated and focused on what I need to do to complete my goals and have myself set for college. Besides that, the most important thing I learned in PFY is determination. This program is all about determination.

You’re in the program because you’re determined to prove yourself to your teachers and your peers. When you’re in PFY, guidance, laborious amounts of hard work and encouragement are added to your school year routine. You are also determined to make it to college and at least try to succeed in life. The program is great for young students who have the potential to achieve an academic life but may slip up and drop out.

Inspired

Nefartari Little, Summer 2010

Bill Cosby once said that “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” I believe that this is true because if you believe in failure you don’t believe in yourself and you also don’t believe that you will succeed in life. Another reason why it’s so important to have a strong desire for success is because you will feel eager and willing to try something that you failed at again.

This quote relates to my job at Durham Regional Hospital in many ways because I deal with patients and sick people. When I first started wheeling patients that were leaving the hospital down to the front, I would accidentally bump them into the side of the wall and I didn’t quite know how to treat them with proper care. However, after I began to do it often, I became good at it. Because I didn’t give up on myself or the situation, I built confidence and met very interesting patients that were very courteous and nice as well as understanding.

Another example of how I didn’t give up on myself when it came to failure is when I had to take my U.S. History exam, which my teacher stressed about. Before my class took the exam we had a series of practice test that we were to complete with a partner and which were counted as a quiz grade. However, every time my friend and I would take the quizzes we would make a failing grade, which brought our grades down. We were both becoming stressed because everyone in our class was cheating which made us mad on top of becoming stressed out, but we kept studying and kept strong. After we took the test, the results came back and to our surprise my friend and I passed. So I learned that after failing a couple times that it’s not hard to try again.

Although I have had a greater fear of failure than a desire for success, I am learning to overcome this and push myself to succeed in different areas that I have found to be difficult and I have failed at. I also came to understand that if I do fail or fall that “It’s not about falling, it’s about getting yourself back up again” as said by Fabolous, one of my favorite rappers.

How My Job Has Changed Me

Alexis Smiley, Summer 2010

I have never work at a job before, but working at “Pennies for Change” has changed how I look at my responsibilities. My responsibilities at home are nothing compared to my responsibilities at work. At work I have to make sure that I am on top of everything. Whether when I am at home I have to do my chores but if I make a mistake it doesn’t affect me as much as my job.

My parents see me as being more responsible, I still have the same chores at home. They want me to be on top of my chores because I’m getting older and shouldn’t have to be told to do what I am supposed to do. My mother wants me to make sure that I am using my money for things I need for next year such as school clothing. She also wants me to save my money for when I want to do something in my free time, such as going to the school football games or hanging out with my friends outside of school.

Working at “Pennies for Change” has made me think about what I want to do in the future. I want to make sure that I get an education beyond high school. I realize that getting an education is the best thing especially considering our troubled economy. I don’t want a job that pays below minimum wage. I want a job that will allow me to be more successful and responsible. Now that I have experienced working, I am willing to take on the challenge.