CHHS male mentoring program makes an impact

Published 1:09 am Thursday, October 10, 2019

The LIFE female mentoring program at Charles Henderson High School has been a tremendous success since its inception in 2017 – 94 percent of girls in the program have gone on to college and the rest have joined the armed forces or the workforce.

Now the CHHS administration is hoping to have a similar impact on its male students through the IMPACT mentoring program.

Assistant Principal Shelby Tuck said the mentoring program was brought in this year and is continuing to grow.

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Lamar Higgins, member of the Troy University Board of Trustees, came in to talk to the boys about his success story and how they can set their own courses.

“What really got me to really look at myself were some tragic things in my life that I thought might make me give up,” Higgins told the boys Tuesday. “They actually motivated me to do better. Your circumstances are not going to determine who you become or how you become it. But things don’t just happen; they don’t just fall in your lap. It requires work and preparation.”

Higgins is a native of Marbury and graduated from Marbury High School with a graduating class of just 28 seniors. He told the boys how he set his sights on Cleo Thomas, the first ever African American president of the University of Alabama Student Government Association.

Higgins molded himself after Thomas and determined to be the first African American SGA president at Troy State University, a goal he accomplished.

He didn’t know it at the time, but he would also follow in Thomas’ footsteps as each joined the board of trustees at their respective universities.

Higgins encouraged the boys to do the same, pick someone out to aspire to and see what they do, what degrees they have, how they got where they are and then see how they can reach those same goals in their lives.

“You control your own destiny,” Higgins said. “Not your circumstances or situations. Take this time now and say this is where I want to be in five years, ten years. I don’t want someone else telling me that I have to be in this pot for the rest of my life.”

Higgins encouraged the boys to perfect the skills they already have and that it would make them better people and improve their environment.

The mentoring program will also include community service and other opportunities for the young men to grow and mature.