FLINT, Michigan—Despite the physical doors of schools staying closed through the end of the academic year, Flint’s 67th District Judge Herman Marable is keeping one opportunity open for sophomores county-wide.
Through Monday, June 27, Marable will continue to accept applications for his Student of the Month program. This will be the 16th year that the Student of the Month program has been offered and given the circumstances, Marable thinks students have more time than ever to express their plans for the future and earn some cash in doing so.
“I think that by now students may be a bit bored. Since the students are home, they have plenty of time to write an essay about their career goals and apply. We will waive the requirement that they have to get a letter of good standing from their school,” said Marable in a press release.
Offered by Marable and his Citizen’s Advisory Committee, the Student of the Month program was established in an effort to get Flint and high school sophomores across Genesee County motivated for their future college and working careers.
With the completion of an application and a 500-word essay, students previously would have had the chance to win a trophy, a $75.00 prize, a certificate, press, and a day-length shadowing opportunity with Judge Marable at the 67th District Court.
“In recent years some of our students visited and toured M.S.U. where they attended classes and cultural events, to experience college life. I believe that these were golden opportunities to encourage students to look ahead at their future goals,” Marable says on his website.
Students like Marcell Simmons, 19, was awarded for Student of the Month and later was chosen for Student of the Year for 2016-2017 with a cash prize of $500.00.
Marchell Simmons won Student of the Year as a sophomore at Flint Northwestern for his 500-word essay about wanting to be a paleontologist. Now, a dual-enrolled student at Mott-Community college he says the program made a big difference in his academic trajectory.
“Receiving the reward I believe is what started me out in my quest to achieve greater things. I always had goals and ambitions but this was the first step at putting my foot through the door,” said Simmons. Now finishing up his senior year in pursuit of an associate degree in Communications, steeped in extracurriculars like the Black Student Union, Mott Feminist League, Talent Men of Today, and Presidential Student Advisory Council.
“For students still being able to receive the reward during this time, I applaud them and confidence such as that is greatly needed especially during this time,” said Simmons. He’s like students across the country has had pivot to online classes and do his best to teach himself new concepts. “Since I am no longer a traditional highschooler having my graduation ceremony isn’t really on my mind. I wouldn’t be upset if I got my diploma in the mail and that was that. But that’s just me personally. I fully understand how it deeply affects other students.”
For Simmons, though a lot has changed, programs like Judge Marable’s and his other high school activities gives him a sense of regularity and hope for the future.
In light of the current circumstances, certain aspects of the Student of the Month program, like the 67th Cout District visit, the trip to Michigan State, and the award ceremony will be postponed.
“We know that the virus has impacted everybody in some way, and we hope and pray that there will be better days ahead when we can celebrate our deserving youth. This is one small thing we can do to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on some of our kids”.
For more information or to access the Student of the Month application, visit Jude Marable’s website.
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