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Program presenters get school program training

They ask students to study hard, take more rigorous classes,obtain good grades, volunteer in the community and put forth aneffort greater than average.

It is only fair that they ask the same of themselves.

Mississippi Scholars officials met Thursday with members of theLincoln County business community, who serve as ambassadors for theacademic program for eighth- to 12th-grade students, to introduceinterested volunteers to the program and keep the program idealsfresh in the minds of seasoned veterans.

In attendance were business owners, program directors, engineers,educators and other members of the commerce population – a diversegroup, which chairman Kenny Goza said makes the program sounique.

“By being very diverse it gives us a broader connecting point withthe students,” said Goza.

At the meeting, Goza not only introduced the program to newpresenters, but also shared some important factors to giving asuccessful presentation.

“We want you to be ready to go into a classroom,” said Goza. “Ithink our biggest key is being relative.”

To further the point of relevance, volunteer and business ownerTerrance Turner went through his presentation as he would in frontof an audience of eighth-grade students.

During his presentation, Turner tries to get across to his audienceby telling about his failures that led to his success.

“You have to plan to fall forward,” he said. “I don’t know if it’seffective, but I know what I needed to hear sitting in thatchair.”

In addition to academic achievement, the program also strives tobuild good character among area students by teaching them variouslife lessons.

Those lessons include the importance of behaving appropriately,dressing in a respectable manner while at school and realizingthere is a time and a place for everything.

“We’re not going to celebrate stupid,” said Turner.

Turner also added that the business community should take an activepart in helping the Lincoln County youth step toward furtheringtheir education and living a better life.

“We had the opportunity to do well in life,” said Turner. “We justneed to turn around and give back.”

Mississippi Scholars, with roughly 50 presenters, has helped 93students through $106,000 in scholarships.

However, Turner said it will take a group effort to continue theprograms success.

“We have to stand in the gaps,” he said. “We have to lock arms withthe community.”