Head of the Class, Heart of the Community

A new student council executive board takes office at Roosevelt School. Men Who Care of Germantown shares in the moment.

Congratulations to the new Executive Board of Roosevelt Elementary School (l to r) Khadijah Abdul Rahmanbey (Recording Secretary), Alyssa Rodrigues, (Vice President), Danaesia Jeffrey (President), Abdul Baseer Williams (Treasurer) and Kelvin Kamara (7th grade class representative). Far right, State Rep. Stephen Kinsey. Not pictured: Sumayah Barnes, Corresponding Secretary. Photo credit: Shannon Sims (Shannonsimsphotos. com)

It was a proud moment for students of Roosevelt Elementary School and their parents at the January 30th swearing-in ceremony for the executive board of the Student Government Association.

Looking on with the proud parents from the audience was Rick Hampton, a member of Men Who Care of Germantown (MWCG) and a long-time volunteer at the school. “It’s special to see the kids take office,” said Hampton, who advises the Executive Board of the Student Government Association. “They want to make a difference for their classmates and they want to help their school.”

Making a difference at Roosevelt has also been the mission for Hampton and his friends from MWCG since they began volunteering at the school. It’s been almost three years since Rick took on the role of advisor to the student government board. “The first year I didn’t know what I was doing and I told the kids that and I think they appreciated the honesty.” He did know one thing for sure though – “I had high expectations for them.” He’s been happy to see the kids have exceeded them every year.

Another big surprise? “It’s such a collaboration, and always will be. They run the government and I just advise, but I’m getting better as I learn more about the by-laws, the rules, and regulations.” He’s also getting good at scouting future Executive Board talent. “Now that I know what it takes, I’m pretty good at it. Always have to keep your eye on the future, right?”

Quick Questions for Rick Hampton

How did Men Who Care get involved at Roosevelt?
We came in to help with the school atmosphere about 4 years ago. Things were tough at the time with behavior and discipline – attendance issues, fights, that kind of thing. It was known as one of the worst schools in the city. So we offered our help to act as mediators and mentors, if you will, both inside and outside the school. All of our members have participated in one way or another over the years – all with the goal of “Rebuilding Roosevelt.”

That’s the motto of the students, teachers, parents, and administration and that’s what we want to help achieve. We’re invested as neighbors and it’s personal for us too, because most of us are Roosevelt grads. We want our school to succeed.

Men Who Care (l to r) Alonzo Fulton, Rick Hampton, Joe Budd Jr., State Representative Stephen Kinsey, Clayton Justice, D. Mc Edday. Photo credit: Shannon Sims (Shannonsimsphotos.com)

What’s changed since you were a student at Roosevelt?
Teachers have evolved. They’ve got more ways of reaching kids. I went to Catholic school growing up and they were quick with a ruler. Man, I hated when they’d rap my knuckles. It’s not like that anymore. And we help teachers by giving them feedback on issues that are important to the kids. We work with other groups like FACT and the Home & School Council to bring in other volunteers to support the staff and the kids. It’s a group effort.

What’s your dream for Roosevelt? How do you get there?
We want to get more parents involved. And we try to pull them in where we can – for example, we’ve partnered with Philabundance on a backpack giveaway program. Every 3rd Wednesday of the month, we give away 600 backpacks filled with all kinds of food: juice, milk, cereal, chili, beef stew, etc. We invite parents to come to the school to get the food and see what we’re doing and find out what’s going on. All we ask is that parents get involved, because that makes all the difference.

Upcoming Event
The next Philabundance/MWC backpack giveaway is Wednesday, March 20th at Roosevelt School (MAP LINK), from 2:45 – 3:45PM.

Get Involved
Visit the Men Who Care of Germantown website or call Clayton Justice at 215-888-8435. Opportunities for community outreach, mentoring, & crime prevention programs.

You can also follow MWC on Facebook.

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