LatinaLista — Among the many creative ways people have tried in the past to get kids to do well in school has been to pay them to make good grades. Critics have pointed out that while it may motivate kids, it doesn’t do much more. Yet one woman from San Antonio, Texas, Kym Rapier, awoke from a dream with an idea to not only motivate kids to do well in school but in the process give back to their community and keep a steady eye on their future too.
Through Kym’s Kids, underprivileged children from grades 8-12, do a variety of community service projects in their neighborhoods from cleaning graffiti off buildings to planting community gardens to volunteering with the elderly at the same they’re attending school regularly, getting good grades and being on their best behavior — at all times. In return, the kids either receive scholarships to attend the college or technical school of their choice or, if they enter the military, receive a possible signing bonus.
The organization works with the children’s schools to keep them accountable for their school performance and if the children go above and beyond in their school performance they are eligible to receive an even bigger scholarship for that year.
However, that’s not all. Once the students are in college and are still willing to be part of the program, Kym’s Kids is exploring ways to award scholarships for their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of higher ed schooling.
Kym’s Kids wants our students to succeed. While we will support our youth with programs that can help with their success, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to step up and take ownership of their own performance. Grades and attendance are easy measures to track. Behavior is the input that is reported back to us from school counselors and teachers. A student that is attending school, applying themselves and is attentive in their classroom is going to have a much better chance at succeeding.