By: Melanie Muha
There is no lack of powerful stories at The Challenge Program, Inc. It has become obvious over the past few years of working here that there is always a student with a story to tell about how TCP influenced them. Finding them in the crowd of the thousands of students that TCP reaches every fall and spring season is the only tough part. However, this year with our student followers on our social media, it has become easier for the stories to be found and told to a world that could use some positivity and light.
This month, Alexia Pritchard, a senior at Albert Gallatin High School, reached out to TCP to share how grateful she was to have been recognized for the Attendance Award last year. Alexia says that after earning that award, “I felt valued. I finally felt as though all the effort I had put in through the years was coming to fruition. That someone had recognized what I had done.” She remembers TCP coming to present the fall kick-off assembly saying that “I remember a hopeful atmosphere. The room was filled with hope and everyone was put in a better mood whether you received an award or not.”
Alexia says she is currently working towards the Attendance Award again but also would like to earn the Academic Improvement Award. “I think committing yourself to a goal [to show up] day in and day out is extremely commendable and deserves to be recognized.”
Albert Gallatin High School’s business partners are COE Distributing and Johnson Matthey. Each year they travel to Albert Gallatin to challenge the students. “I’m incredibly thankful for COE Distributing and Johnson Matthey. They managed to uplift an entire student body. They instilled a message that even if their path wasn’t the one you would follow, that there is always a chance at a bright future.”
Alexia wants to tell other students that “The Challenge Program matters. As a teenager it is easy to disregard assemblies and organizations that are no doubt telling you [the same things] but this isn’t one of those organizations because they care. Whether it is the business partners they bring onstage or the monetary prizes they gift, it’s hard to feel disregarded. They provide you with a passion to do better if you take the time to listen. So listen and I promise you won’t be disappointed.”
“I have always had a drive to do the best that I could. The Challenge Program has put a purpose to that drive. With TCP being introduced at my school, I was given the right sign to keep going, try harder, and never give up. For that I am grateful.” The Challenge Program is a program for all students whether they need a push in the right direction or a reason to keep headed in that right direction. Alexia is an example of how taking the time to recognize students is important and can change a life.