The Community Coordination Committee of the Alexandria Chapter of the NAACP hosted an outreach activity to students at the city’s Interim Education Program on Monday at the Stonewall Jackson building on S. Quaker Lane.
Alexandria City Public School’s Interim Ed Program allows students who have committed various disciplinary infractions a chance to earn credit for completing assignments while serving suspensions from their regular schools. The program keeps the students in the classroom and off the streets.
“You’re on a track to go in the wrong direction or you’re going to learn how to get on the right track,” Community Coordination Chair Jackie Surratt told the students. “We’re here to reach down and help you get up.”
The students received an inspirational talk from Tony Suggs, a 1984 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, who was one of the top-ranked amateur boxers in the world in the late 1980s. The death of his 7-month-old daughter, Ashley, in 1987 drew him to drugs and derailed his career.
Suggs, who in January will be 24 years clean of drugs, challenged the students to work hard and achieve.
“I love folks who change their lives,” Suggs said. “It’s a hard thing to do.”
Najee Surrat, a recent T.C. Williams graduate, also spoke with the students. Surrat is in his freshman year at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Penn. He earned a partial scholarship to the school to play football.
The students all received holiday gifts from the NAACP.