What’s Right With Our Schools: The Pursuit of Happiness

CHATTANOOGA. TN (WDEF) – The Pursuit of Happiness is on a mission is to restore hope by alleviating the drivers of poverty. One way they are doing that is by working with local students to give them a head start in the business world.

Michael Gordon is the President and CEO.

He explains, “The Pursuit of Happiness is a program where its a grassroots counseling, mentoring, apprenticeship and internship program for the under served. We are trying to get into the school systems, so that we can identify what are some of those drivers of poverty of the kids we are dealing with. One of those drivers is mentoring. The other one is economics.”

Tony B. Young is the Executive Director at Chambliss, Bahner, & Stophel.

He says, “I personally have a passion to try and help in the community. Obviously, couple years ago we had some civil unrest,  and so I felt like, you know, there was a lot of talk, but I felt like action is more important than talking. So, I was looking for a place to give back.”

Justin McCulley is the Lead Administrator for the Future Ready Institute Brainerd High

Justin adds, “In this Pursuit of Happiness, and what our students were given the opportunity to do here here is amazing. When they’re able to go from that the CFO, to the marketing, all the way down to advertising, production; it is amazing an all student-driven.

Jamyamelvin Johnson is a sophomore at Brainerd High.

She points out, “The program provides the opportunities for a lot of people. It provided an opportunity for me, JT, and Remia  just to get the knowledge that people in the outside world don’t have.”

Brainerd junior, Remia Locklin adds, “I learned how to network, do your portfolio and do, like your business plan.”

Brainerd senior, Joshua Hood chips in, “You get better critical thinking skills when you actually have to think about a real time scenario as opposed to just a worksheet. Just by doing a basic assignment,  you know, (you) get the opportunity to think about all of the different outcomes that something  could have.”

Michael Gordon concludes, ” Albert Einstein said, ‘Imagination is the, is the, preview of the coming attraction.’ Because of the small window that they look out of, their imagination is, is limited, and if we can bring those individuals outside of their community, so that these kids can understand the language that is used,  some of the goal setting, planning, we feel like whenever our kids get ready to possibly start a business, apply for jobs, they will be more future ready for trade, and for vocation.”



Categories: Education, Hamilton County, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools