Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life Plan

Those that know me might describe me with adjectives such as hard working, good parent, community volunteer, gainfully employed, or activist. Most of the time I live up to those labels, but earning those labels wasn't such an easy path.

My path to adulthood was a rocky one. My parents were transient and sometimes I'd attend 2-3 schools in one school year - if I was enrolled in school at all. There were foster homes, a group home and eventually I landed with an Aunt and Uncle for my last three years of high school. Those three years are the only reason I even made it to college, but my journey was just beginning.

At the age of 17, I found myself in college with no money, no real support system and without the maturity or established direction to be successful. Thankfully there was something in my gut that told me I needed that college degree, but I had to fight and claw for four years to be able to cross the podium on graduation day.

My story is just one reason why I find the Lifeplan program at University City High School so exciting. An outgrowth of the California Mentor Foundation and the Evelyn Freed Mentor Center, Lifeplan believes if you change the conversation with a young adult, you change their choices. With all the distractions our society offers young adults these days, conversations that focus on the future and get students discussing what they want out of life can only be beneficial.

UCHS happens to be the first and only Missouri high school to implement Lifeplan, a mentoring program for teens. The program helps teens maneuver through high school and on through young adulthood helping "participants discover for themselves how to navigate the path of life, avoid the common pitfalls, and become successful thriving adults."

UCHS launched Lifeplan in the fall of 2011 with an inaugural group of 25 freshman and now all incoming freshman go through the program each year. After hearing other area high school administrators talk about the UCHS Lifeplan program, KMOV Channel 4 news visited UCHS and ran a feature on the program.

Many UCHS Alumni support this program financially and as mentors. If you'd like to get involved contact Mr. Ernest Carter, Assistant Principal via email at or phone at 314-290-4128.
logo - California Mentor Foundation logo - Evenlyn Free Mentor Center

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