Above and Beyond: Collegiate 100

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Wednesdays are a little more special than usual for a group of fifth grade boys at Rolling Hills Elementary School. That is because they get to spend a little time out of the classroom with their "big brothers."

"He likes to do fun things. He takes me to the computer lab and stuff. And he helps me to learn how to read a little bit better," said student Deon Hill.

These "big brothers" are actually students at Alabama A & M University, and many of them are members of a service organization known as the Collegiate 100.

They spend an hour each week as mentors to the fifth-graders, talking to them and guiding them in everything from behavior to various career choices.

"He teaches me how to learn stuff that I don't know, like math, science, reading, and social studies," said student Jayvon Jefferson.

Leonard Phillips, Jr. has been a mentor in this program now for four years, and he says he sees positive changes in the "mentees" every time he comes. He also adds his father was a role model for him, but some of these students don't have dads in their lives.

"What they see is what they'll be, and it gives us an opportunity to get into the community and show our young African American men or students I should say, that they can be upright and upstanding. That they don't have to be a drug dealer, they don't have to be a rapper. That they can be a studious college student and it can be cool," said Phillips.

That is a start to a great future, thanks to the men of the Collegiate 100 going above and beyond.

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