All 100 of the students from the South Bend area were commended for academic success.
African-American students have undoubtedly heard a lot about the disadvantages they face.
They are more than aware that their school districts face more challenges than districts predominated by other races, and that students who look like them are not expected to graduate at the same rate as their white counterparts.
However, one school official at Indiana University South Bend is aiming to highlight the many African-American students who have worked hard to achieve success in the classroom, which could possibly give other Black students a more positive perception of themselves.
Dr. G. David Moss, the new director of African-American student/parent support in the South Bend Indianapolis School District, organized the luncheon and explained that highlighting these successful students can help South Bend rebuild as a community of scholars.
“If we don’t reach these students now, I think our community is going to be in trouble,” Moss said. “So my goal is to rebuild South Bend using these very same students.”
The students Moss plans to engage have big dreams for their futures and towering GPAs to prove they are focused.
Over 300 African-American students in the South Bend school corporation currently have GPAs of 3.3 or higher, and many of these students were on the list to be honored at the luncheon.
In addition to treating the students to a great meal and offering leadership advice, the luncheon also served to remind them that they have the power to be the role models that their community needs.
With that in mind, the Hodari scholars held tight to their university dreams.
“I’m going to the University of Indianapolis,” said Anastasia Smith-Davis, a student from Clay High School.
Amani Lee, a senior at the same high school, has already earned a football scholarship and plans to major in business, with a minor in business management, at the University of Indianapolis.
Billy Horton, a freshman at John Adams High School, hopes people will one day refer to him as “your honor.”
“I want to study law. I want to be a Supreme Court justice,” Horton said at the luncheon.
Smith-Davis shared the sentiment of many of the students.
“I’m really proud of myself,” she said. “I made things happen that I didn’t think I could. And I think my parents are pretty proud of me too.”
In the midst of the many disadvantages that tend to plague Black schoolchildren, the Hodari scholars managed to excel and Moss hopes they will be key to attracting others to follow in their footsteps.
“We have the resources here,” he said as he further discussed his desire to rebuild the community. “They’re alive, they’re breathing, and they’re committed to education. Let’s use them to really rebuild this community…. I’m trying to create a community of scholars.”