Tia Holmes, a freshman at Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences, wants to see her school flourish and her classmates take pride in their school.
Hawthorne, which has been an alternative school in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system for students struggling with academics or behavior issues, is now becoming a health science magnet.
The 33 students in the freshman class are all health science students. One of them, Tia, 14, is working to bring extracurricular activities to the school to deepen students pride and excitement.
She began to think about it when her math teacher, Fyniss Nixon, told her to survey students and ask how the school could better serve them.
Nixon said Tia came to Hawthorne with very high math scores and had already mastered some of the topics shed be covering in her class. To challenge her, Nixon has been giving her independent projects.
Shes a great advocate for Hawthorne because she wants the school to grow, said Principal Tonya Faison.
Nixon said Tia took initiative to do the entire project by herself. I literally just proofed it for grammatical errors and there were no errors.
Tia set up a survey online, and 100 classmates took it during lunch on iPads the school provided. The results were overwhelming: Students wanted extracurricular activities.
Hawthorne doesnt have a band or athletics. Our school is definitely different, and we want something normal and fun, Tia said.
After collecting the survey data, she made a presentation of it for Nixon. Those numbers are part of the discussion the schools administration is having to decide how to integrate extracurricular activities in the schedule. Faison said several teachers have expressed interest in being club advisers.
The most popular requests were for a step team and athletics. Tia would like to see a book club, photography and something for video-game fans.
Music is also a big interest. Tia played snare drums in middle school, but she said shes always wanted to play in an orchestra. She got a violin for Christmas and is teaching herself how to play. So far, shes figured out Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
Tia can be shy, and Nixon said shes very kindhearted. Despite her shyness, shed rather help someone than watch them struggle, she said.
Nixon and Faison said they see leadership potential in Tia, who, Nixon said, is very self-motivated.
Tia said shes glad her survey project is bringing about positive change for Hawthorne. A lot of her peers dont like school, she said, and she wants to change that.
I like school. Its there for you, its there for the students, she said. You should enjoy it while youre here.
Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens
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