May 26, 2011 Posted by Turner 12 in Print + Web

Mentoring Program Has Dramatic Success

This post originally appeared on Fox 4 News and adapted for web on myFOXdfw.com.

Mentoring Program Has Dramatic Success | myFOXdfw.com

DALLAS - In 1999 John Carter learned some disturbing statistics. In the previous 10 years only six students from the Turner Courts in south Dallas had gone to college. So he quit his job teaching.

But instead of leaving the students, Carter began mentoring them. He worked with 12 students and 11 of them graduated college. He proved with the right attention no obstacle is too great.

And now Carter has done it again with a second group of students from Lincoln High School.

“I really just want to make an example and let this city see what can happen when you really take kids, embrace them and help them to believe in themselves,” Carter said.

He reached out to the 12 students as seventh graders and asked them if they would accept the challenge of success.

“He talked to me about college and, you know, that I did have something to look forward to,” said Antoinette Steverson.

Veronica Jacquez is first in her graduating class and first in her family to go to college.

“He just believed in me and told me that I could become the valedictorian of my graduating class,” she said.

The students met for study sessions two hours after school every day of their high school experience. They studied their school curriculum and life skills.

“He taught me what humility was, honesty. And basically he had me grow as a person,” said Ivory Alexis.

Carter said he quit his job as a teacher to mentor the students because he believed the schools were not able to effectively break the cycle of failure. He knew the students needed more one on one tutoring, resources and experiences and someone who would challenge them to make hard choices.

“Help them understand they can become somebody and then surround them with the things and resources that they need to be successful,” he said.

Fortunately Carter is able to give his full time to the students because an anonymous benefactor supports him. But even that has also helped the kids learn that life is about doing for someone else.

“He teaches us to give back because he gives back, not necessarily to us but to other people in need,” said Mickendra Barrett.

The 12 students now have a bright future ahead of them all because one man taught them to believe in themselves and to believe in possibilities.

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