Helping Students Move Ahead
"As long as they come through that door, I'm going to make it happen, not just for one but for every last one of them this year," said Raybon of his students. "That's my goal."
The highlight of the program is the one-on-one tutoring offered to each of its 32 kids.
"His weaknesses as my strengths so it's like whatever he needs help in I circum and I am able to help him," says Jaleah Hollis, a tutor for Moving Ahead.
This is Hollis' first year tutoring and her student Michael Jackson says she's the best tutor he's ever had.
"She treats me like, she doesn't treat me like I'm any less than her or I'm any better than her," says Jackson.
Michael says it's Jaleah who motivated him to start turning in his "homework in math." But the program isn't just about doing better in school, it's about the bigger picture.
"Life, you know, it's only one chance at this and we playing with their futures so we got to make sure they're on the right track," explains Raybon. And what's T-Man's secret? "Tough love is the key," he says. "I always tell the kids you can't go through the whole day and your whole day be bad; some part of your day has to be good and we want that part to be right here."
An $80,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Public Safety will help the moving ahead program expand its services this year. The grant will pay for more tutors and educational field trips.