VIPS Announces Success with First Voyage Class To Hold Graduation Ceremony in May
- February 15, 2012
Heard and Zima
It’s Thursday morning at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, and Kayla Heard, a senior, is discussing her latest ACT scores and her college plans with her Voyage captain Anne Marie Zima. The two are part of Volunteers In Public School’s (VIPS) Voyage Mentoring Program.
Voyage mentors, called Voyage captains, help students set goals, explore career choices and learn life skill lessons. A Voyage captain works one on one with a student during school hours to inspire and motivate him or her to graduate from high school, to continue on to secondary education or training and to follow a career path.
In the 2006-2007 school year, VIPS selected an eighth-grade class at Capitol Middle School to participate in its first-ever class of the Voyage Program. Heard and her 18 classmates were members of this class. The program ensured the students received mentors throughout middle and high school. VIPS is proud to announce that it will hold a ceremony for this first Voyage graduating class in May 2012.
Voyage captains are dedicated members of the Baton Rouge community who, like Zima, volunteer their time and experiences to mentor students. “I love that Anne Marie wants to see me succeed, and that she is consistent. What Anne Marie says, she does.” Heard said. However, Zima, who works at Capital One Bank, remembers their relationship didn’t start off so smoothly, and that Heard wasn’t as quick with the compliments.
Thinking back to their first meeting, Zima laughs now about their initial interactions. “It was difficult; building a relationship with a middle school student that I had never met wasn’t easy. I would say the first year that Kayla and I met, she was pretty reserved. I had to work to gain her trust and get her to understand that I was there to help her succeed,” Zima said.
The two now talk regularly and share e-mails. “Kayla loves to send me e-mails with her grades and tells me how things are going in class. Building our relationship was the most challenging part of the program, and now our relationship is definitely the most rewarding aspect” Zima said. While participating in Voyage, Heard has reached many goals with Zima’s help and encouragement, including acceptance into Baton Rouge Magnet High School. Heard’s current goal is to attend Louisiana State University (LSU). “I want to go to LSU and study business so that one day I can own my own business. I think Anne Marie and the Voyage Program are going to help me reach my goal,” she said.
With graduation fast approaching, VIPS salutes all of its Voyage captains and thanks them for their continued dedication to the students. For more information about VIPS Voyage Mentoring Program and other programs offered by VIPS, please visit vips.ebrschools.org or call (225) 226-4700.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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