Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Community is above self with South High Students and Columbus, OH Rotary Club

Antoinette Harrell and Robin Foster, Hosts of Nurturing Our Roots on internet radio and NOATV, wishes to honor Freshman Ambassadors, Tyler Fisher, Jaidon Price, Aaron Mullin, Ileesha White, Colin Stearns, Terry Davis, and Amber Reynolds of South High School in Columbus, Ohio.  What started as a school project has evolved into a major act of community service as these students are the catalysts for bringing much needed school supplies to school children of the Mississippi Delta.

These students are a shining example to us all of compassion and putting others above self.  Antoinette Harrell, is not just a genealogist and a peonage researcher.  Her knowledge has taken her to a new level. She is a relentless advocate of those who are suffer the effects of generations of poverty subsequent to slavery.

Her first contact with the South High came when Dr. Johnetta D. Wiley, principal of South High School, called to set up an interview at the request of Tyler Fisher.  Tyler contacted Antoinette Harrell for an interview to learn more about 20th Century slavery, poverty, and how she became involved.


I really like the way Ileesha White explained how they made the decision to chose a community within the United States:  "We've come to a conclusion that we should start with the United States before venturing off to others when people are in need here!"  Ileesha explained that they wanted to inform the student body and the staff members about what they learned from the YouTube videos and the interview with Antoinette so they all could help "make a change in the country and inform others" about what is going on right here in the United States.


This is a slide show that the students created using interviews:











The students also interviewed teachers and other students about peonage, and it is so wonderful to see them helping to educate their community. To me, there is no greater power than a student who has made his or or mind up to bring about change. Their desires have brought them a long way, and has inspired the Columbus Ohio Rotary Club to help in addition to arranging for the students to personally deliver the school supplies in time for the school this Fall.

I have never heard such excitement as you now can hear in Antoinette's voice.  She is so proud of these students for what they have done.  She created the slideshow below:











Antoinette is truly grateful to the Columbus Rotary and South High School principal and staff for the enormous support they have been to the students. She is also deeply touched by the recognition they have received, and that their accomplishment has not gone unnoticed.  We would like to thank Millie Broste of the Columbus, Ohio Rotary Club for all the support given to the Student Ambassadors of South High School. She is busy preparing to welcome the students to the Mississippi Delta.

"I am excited about this upcoming project.  Those students will be traveling here.  I just think that is wonderful. What I am hoping to achieve here is to introduce the South High students to those people they saw in the video. I would like the young people in the Delta to tell them what their everyday life is like. I want the students to interact with each other. I just want to listen and learn.  I want to see these children compare their lives having resources versus having no resources. I want to take the students to a town where there is no library, no bus stop, no mall. I want to be able to bring to them a life changing experience,"  said Antoinette.  Antoinette attributes social media as the avenue where the students were able to connect and have the opportunity to have this life changing experience.

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