The 2011 college readiness results stirred my heart to make a difference in this area.
In 2011 35% of ACT-tested African American high school graduates met the College Readiness Benchmark in English and only 21% did so in reading. Most alarming was that only 4% met benchmarks in all categories. The national average ACT score for African American youth is currently 17 and this score places a number of students short of the NCAA Clearing House Benchmark in time to receive an athletic scholarship, or to obtain other means of financial aide.
For the last 5 years I have asked sport ministries, after-school programs as well as private schools to investigate this matter but none felt the urgency. After many nights of prayer and conversations with colleagues I knew it was time for PHAT STAR® LEARNING to take the initiative.
We have heard it said, “The poor you will always have among you!” This poverty is expressed in many ways. It may be impoverishment financially, in social capital, intellectual exposure, or in self-confidence. The struggle for me as I entered the University of Texas as a freshman athlete was trying to keep my head above water each semester as I was unprepared for the academic challenges. Many students give up when the academic stress is too great and drop out of school.
In the past six months, my colleagues and I have visited with college coaches, athletic directors, parents and the students and found common concerns. They are: college acceptance, financial assistance, academic strengthening, and eligibility and retention of student athletes.
We offer ACT/ SAT Prep courses and other tutoring services with a multicultural multi-ethnic design.
We are committed to being a Christian owned resource house to help marginalized students and families become better informed about academic requirements and what it takes to be eligible for merit based financial assistance. It is my desire through PHAT STAR® LEARNING to make parental education and student academic coaching plans affordable and available to all families. Whether a child is going down the road to traditional college, or professional career training and need to pass a state board exam we want to serve them.