We have had three sessions of AT&T Summer Program students this summer. Our first session was held at Challenge House #2, located at 311 Bryan Street. The second session was held at Challenge House #3, located at 123 South Fowler Street. The third session was held at Challenge House #4, located at 517 North Elm Street.
The first session had 17 students participate.
The second session had 20 students participate.
The third session has 22 students participate.
The total number of students for the 2017 summer session was 59, which is an increase of 8 students enrolled in the program last summer.
Each session had 16 hours of classroom instruction. Among the topics of discussion were budgeting, time management, decision making, personal hygiene, attitude and public speaking. We had a local pastor who taught Bible study daily during each session. We had 20 business professionals per session come in and speak to the students in 30 minute increments. Some of them were State Farm Insurance Owners, Police Officers, restaurant owners, Pastors, representatives from Hopkinsville Community College and Murray State University, a professor from the college in Paducah, KY, the Mayor of Hopkinsville, solders from Ft. Campbell, Ky, both active and retired, Kentucky Workforce Development Career Center counselors, and many others. We had non-profit organizations come in and speak to the students about the plight of many in our community and how they service them and they encouraged the students to be mindful to be involved in ways of helping others in the community, no matter where they end up living.
The students were able to shadow at locations such as Quincy’s restuarant, Jennie Stuart Medical Center Lab, Hopkinsville Police Department, Hopkinsville Fire Department, Hopkinsville Boys & Girls Club, Judge Andrew Self, Skyline Animal Clinic, The Car Spa, James Long – U.S. Army retired (Ft. Campbell), Aaron McNeil House Crisis Relief Center and Grace and Mercy Ministy.
It was explained to the students that this program is made possible by individuals who love and care about our community, many of whom they may never meet. It was also shared with the students how the McGuire family as well as Mr. and Mrs. Craig and Vickie Brown made it possible for us not only raise the monetary award, but to continue this program and we reminded them of the importance of giving back to their community in some way even if they do not know the recipients. They were reminded that the giving of others to this program was the only reason they were afforded the opportunity to be involved.
The acronym AT&T stands for Attitude, Training & Teamwork. It expresses the partnership goal between Challenge House and our neighbors. That acronym was chosen in appreciation to AT&T phone company, who gave the initial funding to start the program several years ago. Not only did AT&T provide the initial funding for the program several years ago, but they have continued to support the program financially each year without fail. The AT&T regional director has continually provided fianancial support for the program over the years and has personally visited the Challenge House in Hopkinsville. We are deeply appreciated for their willingness to be engaged in community educational development programs.
The parents and families have continued to express appreciation for their child, and in some cases grandchild, to be able to participate in the program. The graduations were attended by several family members and friends connected to the students. We even had speakers and representatives from some of the agencies where the students shadowed to attend the graduations.