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by Dr. Glenn Bramlett, Assistant Principal, Brandon EPIC 3 Center
The challenges our students go through at Brandon EPIC3 Center are ones that could fill a book. These students have made mistakes in their life that sometimes define them for many years. They have been looked at as someone that can't succeed, and when they do succeed they are not used to the support and accolades.
On October 27, some of these students were given an opportunity to visit the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. These students who never thought that college was a possibility were given the opportunity to sit in on a live college class and participate. Throughout the lecture the back and forth discussion with our students and USF students made us proud, but the most moving moment happened when a young man who's had several setbacks in his life made a statement or declaration.
Abraham Torres's raised his hand, got the attention of the class, and every eye was on him. The courage this young man showed was an act beyond his years. He told everyone there, "before I came here I was not even thinking about college, but now I have a determination to go, and I'm making a commitment to someday be in one of these classrooms." His heart changed because of an opportunity of hope that was given to him.
The strength this young man showed not only inspired himself but everyone in the room.
Abraham is a humble, dedicated student who is working hard to head back to Lennard High School this December, where he will continue his strong work-ethic and start the college application process.
What is EPIC? The Education, Prevention, and Intervention Centers (EPIC) program in Hillsborough County seeks to positively impact young lives by altering their attitudes and successfully transitioning them back to a traditional school environment. This program supports the district in their efforts to prepare students for life.
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