The Brightside: Pathways To Success
SUSSEX CO., Del. – A local organization is breaking down barriers students are facing in hopes of leading them on a pathway to success.
Sussex Tech students Logan Abbott and Tiana Willin for the first time in their lives have hope that they can make it through high school an d that they can overcome any obstacle they face.
They’re on a pathway to success all thanks to a mentor they call Mr. Bowe and a program that believes in them.
Abbott explains, “Mr. Bowe’s helped me more than some people can imagine it’s a lot. Family issues, problems at home, school if I wasn’t focused on this I was focused on this. He just always helps me bring everything together and look at the bigger picture.”
That’s because Abbott along with over 100 other students at Sussex Technical High School are a part of Pathways to Success. It’s a local non-profit organization that’s breaking down barriers throughout local high schools in Sussex County.
Pathways coordinator and mentor Jacque Bowe Jr. explains, “It’s whatever they need is what we try to become for them and so they might need a father figure, they might need a shoulder to cry on, they might need some support to say hey continue to keep going. We just provide it.”
It’s something that seems simple, but goes a long way.
Sophomore Tiana Willin, “It’s a relief that I actually have somebody that’s constant in my life because I’ve never really had a constant figure to take care of me in my life so to have Bo it’s kind of just like it just keeps me here.”
“If I was depressed or stressed out about something going to him would help me like so it wouldn’t affect me in school, “explains Sophomore Jayla Powell.
Bowe adds, ” We have students who have things that are hindering them from being successful whether or not it could be socioeconomic, it could be emotional, it could be stress we just want to be to say that if they have a barrier we want to remove it.”
They’re breaking down barriers big or small.
Bowe adds, “If it wasn’t for us advocating for some of our students they would be locked up. Some would have harmed themselves, others would have dropped out because when I tell you about barriers these kids are facing all kinds of things.”
Hurdles that some adults can’t even fathom enduring themselves.
Junior Tyrese Jenkins explains,”A couple months ago I actually had an overdose and I just was at a very dark place at that time and Bowe, I called Bowe and was like ‘Bowe I don’t know what’s going on I don’t think I really have a purpose’ but Bowe’s been giving me direction and getting me in the right way.”
For many especially Jenkins, Mr. Bowe has become a constant light in their darkest times just by showing up when needed the most.
Powell says, “He makes time out of his day just to talk to you and makes time to make sure you’re straight.”
“Mr. Bowe he’s like the father figure I never had cause my dad was never really there, but like Bowe is someone I can really look up to. He’s a guy that’s been in the right place and all that,” explains Jenkins.
Willin adds, “Without him I would be in a really bad place right now.”
Consistency that’s keeping these kids on the right track, creating a home away from home and giving them the hope to keep moving.
“You can’t stay when adversity hits, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off because you can get through this. And keep moving forward because if you don’t do it you’re just going to sitting the same position for years and we don’t have time to waste.”