REHOBOTH BEACH – Success comes in many shapes, sizes and varieties.
Here’s Sussex Technical High School junior Amaya Hudson’s vision of success: “College is open right now. But I would like to graduate at the top of my class and I just want to be a dental hygienist somewhere.”
For Sussex Tech classmate Kasiyah Tatem, success will be attending “Happy Valley” and then tending to America’s military.
“I plan on going to Penn State University. I plan on majoring in pre-medical studies so I can become a cardio-thoracic surgeon,” said Kasiyah. “And hopefully I will be fixing the hearts of our soldiers. I want to be a surgeon in the military. I plan on working at a hospital … like in Germany. I definitely love surgery and I love serving my country. I have always wanted to be in the Army or Air Force. I feel it would be like combining both of my dreams.”
The two 16-year-old juniors share more than chronological age, the same high school alma mater and class grade.
They are among the success stories of Pathways to Success, a Georgetown-based non-profit whose mission is “to prepare youth, adults and families for successful lives through innovative and creative approaches in mentoring, education and community outreach to inform, education and empower.”
Tuesday, April 11, Pathways to Success Inc. – founded by Fay Blake in 2006 – held its “Friendraiser” at the Atlantic Sands Hotel. A related Young Men’s Summit entitled “I.S.T.A.N.D.” was also held at the Atlantic Sands.
“We had some people there had supported us before and new people that probably don’t know a lot about us,” said Sarah Gilmour, outreach coordinator for Pathways to Success. “That was the purpose of the Friendraiser.”
As the Friendraiser’s featured keynote speaker, Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, spoke about SoDel’s support of and connection to Pathways to Success.
“In effect our company gets more enjoyment and more rewards from our support of Pathways to Success than Pathways could ever get,” said Ms. Kammerer. “We are so happy, humbled and honored to be a part of the success of Pathways and we will continue to support them into the future.”
“The story that I always tell is my hopes and dreams are that my future replacement will come out of the Pathways to Success program. Hopefully my retirement is only 10 to 15 years away, so they need to start working real, hard real fast,” said Mr. Kammerer, founder of SoDel Cares. “SoDel Concepts is committed to cooking beautiful food, developing the people we work with and making the communities we do business in a better place. And Pathways to Success’ goals line up with that and Fay Blake has been a great partner for us in our SoDel Cares program. We are happy and honored to be a part of it.”
Students shared their success stories.
“Pathways has put me on the right path by drawing me closer to Christ because he is the only way. And, keeping my mind-set focused on school work and just kind of putting everything else behind me to focus on more important things right now,” said Amaya.
Kasiyah, who wore her sash and tiara as Miss Teen of Delaware 2016, has been in Pathways since her freshman year at Tech.
“I actually saw a couple of my sophomore friends my freshman year go, and they were like, ‘It is a great group about empowering each other.’ I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go.’ I really liked it,” she said. “It’s like a family setting and we all can be open with each other. I love it.”
Tysun Hicks, a Cape Henlopen senior, is another Pathways to Success’ student. Having overcome some hurdles, he’s bound for Delaware State University in a five-year plan to obtain a master’s degree in business administration and accounting.
“I was having some struggles and while at school I come to find this is a program that helps not only troubled students but students that just need help. I gave it try and they helped me with a plethora of things,” he said. “They helped me find somewhere to stay when I was going through a situation at home. They check on me and make sure my grades are right. They keep me on top of my game. They just give you something to look forward to. It has been great for me, and I am pretty sure for the other students as well.”
Cpl. Stanley Jiminez was the keynote speaker for the Young Men’s Summit.
“Some of the young men were asked to give some words about why they were angry. And between 8 and 10 got up and told their story; about how they didn’t grow up with a father; they didn’t know who their father was. They were poor and didn’t know where their next meal was going to come from,” said Ms. Gilmour. “The summit was absolutely dynamic.”
For information on Pathways to Success, visit: www.Pathways-2-Success.org.
News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at email@example.com.
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