By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 20, 2019
QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Classes looked a little different on Monday for students at Shanks Middle School in Quincy as the school held an all-day mentoring summit.
Jac'quese Pruitt is only in the eighth grade, but his is well on his way to becoming a man. Shanks Middle School is teaching him how to be a good one.
"Being a good man shows that you have character," Pruitt said. "It shows that you have respect for yourself; that you love yourself."
Principal Maurice Stokes says it's important to speak to kids about responsibility, good character traits, entrepreneurship and more.
"Making sure that they're encouraged and they feel a sense of pride, and know that they can overcome obstacles," Stokes said. "The whole event is geared towards making sure that students understand that they can overcome adversities."
Community leaders came in to speak at the all-day summit.
"I got the power," said the school's girls, who participated in a separate session.
The mentors taught them about self care, and love and respect for others.
"I think it was really great because it inspired a lot of us, because it gave us hope," said student Abril Ollervidees.
"Most people out here need somebody to talk to," added Ke'Amber Francis. "They get bullied, they do anything that hurts people, they'll be recording fights that they know they shouldn't."
"We believe that if we take the time and spend it with these kids, invest and develop them as people, we can make a change and we can see things happen for our world," said school social worker Bianca Murphy.
The school is already making a difference in the students' lives.
"To Ms. Murphy, you've been a good counselor this year, helping people get out of trouble," said Savetra Jackson.
"Thank you, sweetheart," Murphy responded.