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DHS students, faculty honored for helping others

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 22, 1998

DESTREHAN – Inscribed on the tombstone of baseball hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson are the words “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”A group of Destrehan High School students and faculty members were honored Wednesday evening in the school’s banquet room for having made an impact on fellow students through two programs at the school, Peer Mentoring and Coaches as Mentors.

The awards banquet honored those students who have contributed over 1,000 hours of service through those programs. The students, members ofMu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society, provided tutoring and mentoring for their peers throughout the year.

“We try to provide as much community service as possible,” Dawn Jacobi, a math teacher at Destrehan and sponsor of the two clubs, said.

Destrehan head basketball coach Mike McGuire said Helen Banquer, St.

Charles Parish Schools School Partnership Liaison, helped start the Hoops Program that he and assistant coaches Donald Diodene and Michael McNamara are involved in.

“The kids come to the ball games and practices and we check on their grades,” McGuire said. “It is a big-brother type of thing. It has been goingpretty good.”McNamara said the Choices program, sponsored by Entergy, helps kids make the right choices. The coaches have gotten involved as well as theirplayers.

“The players help kids here who have had those problems,” McNamara said.

“The Choice program gives kids an opportunity to do something.”St. Charles Parish School Superintendent Rodney Lafon thanked thestudents for making a difference in their peers’ lives.

“You took time to do something really special for other people,” Lafon said. “You found a way to make a difference in your community and yourschool. I want to thank you for what you have done and encourage you tokeep it up.”Mentor Supervisor Bernandine Williams said it is not just the tutoring the students provide that will help others in the long run.

“They are going to remember someone took the time to help them, and it is making an impression on them,” Williams said. “By helping one student itis a snowball effect. By helping one child you are touching their lives aswell as touching the lives of so many others.”Archie Manning, former New Orleans Saints quarterback and analyst for WWL Radio, was the guest speaker at the banquet. Manning said he readthat 92 percent of all business failures in the history of the free enterprise system happened because of bad management, and that bad management can also be represented in a person’s personal life as well. Hechallenged the students to be concerned with their personal management.

Manning offered three challenges to the students. The first is to managetheir thoughts. He said he found out while playing for the University ofMississippi that his ability to learn would be his key to his success. Hiscoach told the players if they thought as winners they would win.

“You can be a winner every day of your life if you maintain a positive winning attitude,” Manning said.

His final two challenges were to manage goals and actions.

“The way we behave is really an expression of what we believe,” Manning said. “It all comes down to one thing – your attitude. Life is 10 percent ofwhat happens and 90 percent of how we react to it. Continue to express anattitude of achievement and personal service to others.”

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