(Memphis) Frayser is a place sometimes marred by tragic events and troubled neighborhoods, but Tuesday night, a non-profit focused on the positive, by honoring inspiring students, teachers and parents from six area schools.
The Leadership Empowerment Center had administrators at their six adopted schools select four of their best teachers.
Those teachers then selected their two best students.
The LEC also selected a small group of parents, who despite juggling multiple jobs and multiple kids on their own, maintain a strong level of involvement in their children’s education.
The honorees received gifts, including spa days, gift cards, and even parts of their utility bills paid.
Shaneqa Anthony, a sophomore at Frayser High School, was selected by her English teacher, Jessica Poiner.
“Last year I had basic on my test, which was totally bad. And then I had brought my test up to proficient,” Anthony said.
Her teacher explained this was a way for the state to evaluate students at the end of each course. She said that Anthony was able to bring her test score up, to be considered proficient in English by the state of Tennessee.
Poiner said that many children go home to difficult situations, or have problems in their peer groups. Many distractions make it hard for them to learn.
But she said that in general, they’re good kids
“They're ready to prove to people that a lot of things said about Frayser are not necessarily true,” Poiner said.
Both Anthony and Poiner said they were excited to be chosen and to see positive reinforcement for the people who are working hard.
Marron Thomas, the executive director of the Leadership Empowerment Center, uses the term ‘all eyes on Frayser,’ to indicate the level of dedication many organizations and churches have in improving the community.
Thomas described the honored teachers, saying they’re the ones “who have gone the extra mile. The teacher who says I'm not going to stop because I've made it. I'm not going to stop until you make it.”