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Program Helps Teens Look To The Future

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It's a program designed to keep good students from a sometimes difficult environment on the right path to the future. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports every year the Summer Leadership Academy selects a group of high achieving students from North Tulsa, and helps shape them into the leaders of tomorrow.

It's field trip day for about 30 fifth and sixth graders spending part of their summer vacation learning. Every year, for more than a decade, teachers from five North Tulsa schools recommend their best students for Holland Hall's Leadership Academy. The free, three week program offers career building and educational opportunities like Thursday’s trip to EMSA.

"We learn things about leadership, and how to be a good leader, and help other people," said student Tiffany Rawlins.

"It's our goal to take some of the best students North Tulsa has to offer and say to them, look you're doing the right things, you're on the right track. If only you'll work on these few things, if only you'll consider these particular leadership aspects, you're gonna blow the lid off this city," Bert Bibens with the Summer Leadership Academy said.

So are there any future EMSA recruits in the bunch?

"I probably wouldn't do it,” Rawlins said. “I want to be a pediatrician, but I don't want to be an EMSA. I couldn't probably stand all the blood and stuff."

"I think it'd be pretty cool because you get to help people and you get to save lives," student Carlos Botello said.

"I wanna be in the WNBA. I really like playing basketball a lot and I'm already on a team called the Lady Titans," said student Natori Hurd.

But if that doesn't work out, she says being a paramedic would be alright too.

"If out of this group of young people if only one person becomes an incredible leader for the city of Tulsa 10, 20 years down the road and we've been a spark plug for that, then everything we've done is worthwhile," Bibens said.

The program also includes lunch and activities like swimming, going to the movies and more. It's entirely funded by Holland Hall although the school is hoping to branch out and include some community sponsors to help.

Watch the video: Shaping The Leaders Of Tomorrow
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