Apr 2, 2012 7:42 PM by Maddie Garrett
The new academic turnaround program at Northside High School is starting to take shape, with a surprise visit from three New York Times best- selling authors Monday.
The students just finished a school-wide book study on "The Pact." It's an inspirational and true story about three young men who decided to make a pact that they would all become doctors, despite growing up in a tough neighborhood in New Jersey. After achieving their goals, the three friends hope to inspire other teens to go for their dreams.
"We want to use our story, our lives to help them overcome obstacles and to form their own pacts and to know that education will save their life because it saved ours," said Dr. Rameck Hunt, MD, one of the authors of the book.
From the pages of "The Pact" to real life, students at Northside High got to see and meet the writers: Dr. Sampson Davis, MD, Dr. George Jenkins, DMD and Dr. Hunt. Their visit was a complete surprise for the entire school put on by new Principal Melinda Voorhies.
"I was really excited because I'm really enjoying the book, it's really good because I can kind of relate to some of the things that are going on. So I think everybody in there is really enjoying it," said Northside HS Senior Raya Bonnet.
Bonnet said after graduation she wants to go to college and then nursing school. She said the three doctors' success story makes her believe she can make it too.
"It's a big inspiration to know that people that have had it worse off than me can become something big and have really good opportunities, so it kind of makes me want to be like them," said Bonnet.
And the key to their success the doctors and writers say is their friendship.
"There's a difference when you know your best friend is telling you they expect the best out of you and that it's ok, it's cool that you can be your best and not shy away from your talents and your gifts," said Dr. Davis.
"The Pact" is the second inspirational book the students have read this spring at Northside as part of the turnaround plan. Administrators and faculty started revamping the school and curriculum in an effort to improve academic performance and the overall state of the school.