Premier High School Alumnae Calvere Robinson has a busy schedule, but between her classes as a double major at Arkansas South Baptist College and working with disabled children, she still finds time every day to volunteer at Premier High School of Little Rock.
“I mostly help out as needed. I’ll help coach students who are struggling. I tell them about college, and I think it helps them realize anything is possible for them,” said Calvere.
Giving back is important to her because she is thankful for the opportunities she received at Premier. Moving from Chicago college-prep school, Calvere was looking for a challenge. When she heard the program would allow her to accelerate her academic program, Calvere chose Premier High School. With the encouragement she received at her new school, she completed her course work early and started college when she was 16.
Calvere is part of a new effort launched by campus director Dennis Felton to connect alumni with the current students. Through the Premier High School Alumni Association, former students come back to volunteer and encourage current students.
“We are in a unique position because we are a small school with a family-oriented culture, and we are located on the Arkansas South Baptist College campus. I had a lot of alumni interested in volunteering and supporting the school,” said Mr. Felton.
In addition to supporting current students, alumni have found maintaining a relationship with their high school has helped them. Wade Williams, who graduated in 2016 and is attending Arkansas Southern Baptist College, still finds his high school teachers helpful.
“I volunteer almost every day at Premier. I like seeing my old teachers and having the community. Sometimes when I am struggling in my college classwork, they will coach me. The school is a great support group. When I need someone to talk to, they are always there,” said Wade.
From cleaning tables and making copies to planning events and mentoring current students, alumni are proving to be asset to the school.
“We are a pretty tight-knit school. Our teachers really care about their students even after they graduate, and our alumni really feel a connection. Currently alumni help out in as many ways as we need around the campus, from different tasks to being an encouraging influence on our current students. As our school gets older I hope to grow the alumni association so we can help students network to find jobs after college,” said Mr. Felton.
Beyond providing students with the academic support they need to graduate, Mr. Felton believes developing relationships with each student helps them meet their potential. By bridging the gap between current students and alumni, he hopes the Alumni Association will contribute to develop those positive relationships.
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