Jevon B. is a graduating 8th grade Higher Achievement Pittsburgh scholar. As a part of the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation’s generous investment in Higher Achievement, the organization is offering a special award to one 8th grade graduate per city who exemplifies Higher Achievement culture and academic excellence. Jevon is the 2016 Rales Achievement Award winner in Pittsburgh.
I became committed to Higher Achievement in the 4th grade. I was part of the first group to start attending Higher Achievement in Pittsburgh. I became even more committed to Higher Achievement in 7th grade, when my grades began to drop. By regularly going to Higher Achievement, my grades this year improved tremendously.
Another thing Higher Achievement helped me with was learning and living up to its four culture principles: spirit, excellence, respect, and collaboration.
To me, spirit is showing enthusiasm through every activity. I show spirit by being a good sport, not being disrespectful when my team is losing, and helping my team. Spirit is a good thing to have in and out of Higher Achievement. Spirit can even help you get your dream job.
Excellence is trying your best in everything you do. I show excellence by doing my best on my homework and the supplemental work Higher Achievement provides. I also show excellence outside of Higher Achievement and school: in basketball, I try my best to win. I even show excellence when I play video games. Without excellence, successful people wouldn’t be where they are in life. They worked to the best of their ability to gain success through excellence. This is something I try to do every day.
Respect is being nice and caring to your peers. I show respect by following Higher Achievement’s rules and my school’s rules. Respect is used everywhere. When being respectful most of the time you will get respect in return. One of my favorite things I learned at Higher Achievement was who Nelson Mandela was and what he did to make the world a better place. He was a freedom fighter in South Africa protesting against the terrible treatment of blacks under Apartheid. He thought everyone deserved respect. This protesting came with severe consequences. Mandela was thrown in prison for 27 years. Even after his jail sentence, he still continued to protest against the horrible conditions.
I also learned a lot about the Holocaust over the past two years. These lessons taught me that even as few as one person can change a whole country into something horrible. Over 6 million people that Hitler saw as undesirable to him were killed in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis, just because they were different. This is what happens when the world doesn’t have respect.
Collaboration is working together with your peers. I show collaboration by working with my friends and with whomever else I am assigned to work. Collaboration isn’t always easy because sometimes you have to work with someone you are not friends with or with someone you disagree with. Not every job will let you work with your friends. Sometimes you have to work with people you don’t like, but you will still have to work together or you will end up failing.
I have spent 4 years in Higher Achievement. My experiences there have showed me that life isn’t all fun and games. I learned that if you don’t work hard then you won’t make it very far in life. Ms. Gabbie makes us work our hardest even when we don’t feel like it. Higher Achievement isn’t for people who want to play around with their school lives. Higher Achievement is for people – like me – who want to go to college.
You can join Higher Achievement as we celebrate Jevon and the other graduating 8th grade scholars at the Pittsburgh Green Apple Awards. RSVP Today!