Pecan Grove Young Men, Women of Character programs honored, encouraged

The Pecan Grove Primary School Young Men and Women of Character program pose with school and community role models Tuesday.

Pecan Grove Primary School started the Young Men of Character program three and a half years ago, and has thrived so that a Young Women of Character program has branched off of it. Tuesday, both the young men and women programs were recognized, honored and encouraged. Ascension Parish Schools Assistant Superintendent Denise Graves and Ascension Parish Schools Transportation Supervisor Larry Grant spoke to each group, respectively.

Graves talked to the young women about setting goals and obtaining those goals. She told the group to always do right to others and do right to yourself. The Young Women of Character program, coordinated by Karista Reed, also learned about its own school superintendent Dr. Patrice Pujol. Graves informed the group Pujol was the first women superintendent of Ascension.

“Girls run the world,” Graves said. “So be the model students now to set an example. Be leaders and not followers.”

While Graves encouraged the young women, Grant was empowering the young men.

Grant first told the young men he considers himself “a man of character.” But to be able to get that title and to reach the success his has in his life all started with having good manners, and “getting a great education to get a great job and to do great things in life.”

Grant told the group they cannot do this alone, and that each of them needs somebody to lead them down the right path.

“You can be anything you want,” Grant said to the group. “Just be the best, be the smartest you can be and I guarantee you will have success in life.”

“We're proud of you. Keep doing what you’re doing, and be the best person you can be.”

Richard Brown, co-founder of the Young Men of Character program, challenged them to be mentors for a younger group as a goal for their next meeting in February.

“That will make u the best Young Men of Character this campus has had,” Brown said. “Next month come back and say I am an mentor.”

The Young Men of Character program is coordinated by Rhonda Lamendola, Tim Riley, Mark Peters and Brown. It was created to encourage and recognize students with positive behavior and show improvement and success in the classroom. It has branched over to a young women’s program and is spreading to other schools in Ascension and other parishes.