Seven students at Roosevelt High School were honored Monday for committing to a six-year program of mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters. These seniors have been followed from the seventh grade under the guidance of a big brother or sister.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas program is called InspireU and the seven seniors began in 2008 when they were at Ed White Middle School. Big Brothers President Denise Barkhurst said aside from being a traditional Big Sister or Big Brother, he or she acts as a career role model.
“They get that mentor, who is specifically helping them, [to] say, ‘What is your post-high school plan? Let’s work together on it every time we’re together so that when it does come time for you to graduate you know exactly where you’re going and what you’re going to do.' "
Quentin Williams, a student in Roosevelt’s Design and Technology Academy (DATA), is going to Texas State University-San Marcos for computer science. Five years ago Williams was matched with Grant Herbon, who works at Rackspace. Williams said Herbon has been a critical support in his life.
“At moments when I question what I’m doing, where I’m going, what I want to do with my life, he’s always been there giving me advice showing me the right way to things," Williams said. "He’s always been supporting of all the decisions I’ve made with my college choices and my career choices."
“It’s been fun to see that interest in technology lead to successful completion of the DATA program," Herbon said. "It’s been fun for me as an employee of Rackspace to make a connection between the academic program here at Roosevelt and the real-world application of technology that we have at Rackspace."
Though they are graduating, their participation is not over; InspireU lasts until age 21. Currently the InspireU program has about 700 students in San Antonio.