COVID-19 and the virtual learning it requires caused Crosby Scholars to accept a “new normal.”
“We had to quickly redesign programming to engage students so that they did not get left behind, discouraged, disconnected, isolated due to COVID,” said Mona Lovett, Crosby Scholars President & CEO. “It was important for our students to know that Crosby cares and continues to be here to support them.”
We have seen our scholars adapt and move forward with their college preparation and planning, and we admire them for their resilience. They have continued to engage in our programming virtually.
AAMPED students have joined Zoom meetings that included current events, coping mentally with isolation, sports, advice from two former high school basketball players, seeking social justice and wellness checks where students talk to each other. In some of our focused programs, such as AAMPED, we have held in-person activities with appropriate social distancing and masking in place.
Check out this advice from three Crosby Scholars who also participate in African American Males Pursuing Educational Dreams (AAMPED).
Tristen Bowden is a senior at Reagan High School who plays corner on the football team.
“I like to be in class interacting with the teacher instead of on Zoom,” Bowden said. “I eventually adjusted to it. I had to really sit there and pay attention and listen to what she’s saying.”
His advice: “You can be in your dining room or somewhere that has light, or a quiet place, that you can study so you won’t be distracted.”
The school system allows football players to attend conditioning sessions in small groups with appropriate masking and social distancing. He has participated in AAMPED Zoom meetings and appreciates the check-ins to share how he is doing. Bowden said he has learned that he does not always have to be around people.
He looks forward to when things get back to normal, but in the meantime, he encourages his peers to “Stay focused, keep your head on a swivel, and try your best not be bored out of your mind.”
Isaiah Wilson is an 11th grader at Glenn High School who is on the wrestling team. He continues to condition at home in preparation for a future wrestling season “to make sure I push myself just as hard as I would at practice.”
He attends every AAMPED Zoom meeting.
“AAMPED has really helped me a lot in adjusting to COVID- 19,” Wilson said. “Just talking about how the pandemic has affected me has really helped a lot. AAMPED has introduced me to many African Americans that strive for goals like me. I plan to go to Virginia Tech to study architecture.”
He talks with his parents with how he’s feeling and said, “They boost my confidence.” He also checks in with his friends by phone.
“My advice would be to talk to your friends and family because they can really help you,” Wilson said. “Just being able to relate to someone really helps, in my opinion.”
Antwan Steele, a 9th-grader at North Forsyth, said his time management has improved during the pandemic.
“I used to procrastinate,” Steele said. “Now, once it’s assigned, I try to get it done that day.”
He continues to condition for soccer and basketball, and he has learned valuable lessons from upper classmen at North Forsyth who have told him how important it is to make good grades in the 9th grade.
He has a desk set aside to use for studying, and he shares this advice: “Always be in touch with your teachers. Keep good communication with them. Be open with them. If you need any help, just ask them. Don’t procrastinate.”