URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– A group at Urbana High School is helping students create a better future for themselves. They’re called the Self Made Kings. These students had trouble in school but are choosing to change their behavior. Preston James is the Community Relation Specialist for the city. He saw a need for change. “A lot of them were tagged with being disruptive in class, walking out of class, staying in the hallways,” said James.
“We didn’t know anything. We didn’t know what our worth was. We didn’t know what we wanted to be in life. None of that,” said Terez Thomas, student at Urbana High School. “Our goal was to try and build them up and have them feel a sense of value for themselves,” said James. James helped start the group this summer. “Target our high risk young men that are not getting all of the support they may need,” said James.
“I was around the wrong people, hanging with the wrong friends, and I was following them,” said Andrew Byrd, student at Urbana High School. However, this group intervened. They take field trips, hear from people in the community about opportunities and get exposure to every possibility. “He wants us to be successful in life,” said Byrd. The grades and behavior of the “Kings” have improved and so have their outlooks on life. “I didn’t think I was going to graduate to high school the path I was going down, but now I think I am,” said Thomas.