Tuesday, September 8

Nearly 1,300 students attend 15th annual Back-to-School Summit

Beau Dore' speaks to middle school students during the 15th annual Back-to-School Summit in Lafayette at the Blackham Coliseum. Nearly 1,300 students from seven parishes attended the event.

Southern University Admissions Recruiter Dr. Robert Rene talks to students about college admissions requirements during the Back-to-School Summit on Sept. 3.

Baton Rouge, La – Almost 1,300 eighth graders from middle schools in Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Evangeline, St. Landry and St. Martin Parishes attend the 2015 Back-to-School Summit at the Blackham Coliseum on Thursday, September 3 in Lafayette.

The event, which was hosted by the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives – the Southern University Ag Center’s satellite campus in Opelousas, was held to encourage students to make better life choices, build character, think before becoming sexually active and abstain from drug use.

This year’s theme was, “Are you A S.T.A.R.? Do you…Stop Think Act Review and featured a panel discussion which provided students with the opportunity to ask questions to a set of panelist. The panel included SU alum and District Attorney Steven Sumbler, Outstanding Mature Girlz Organization Founder and AIDS HEALTHCARE Foundation representative Sashika Baunchand, entrepreneur Shanna Dorion, and SU alum and Fitness Instructor Tanesha Craig.

The keynote speaker, Dana “Dr. Truth” Andrus, challenged both the male and female students to grow up to be strong respectable men and women. Telling them they can overcome whatever obstacles they are facing and those obstacles don’t have to define who they will become. He also shared an emotional testimony of how he was faced with raising his special needs daughter as a single parent after his wife decided she didn’t want to be married and moved out of town with their other two children.

Other speakers included SU Ag Center interim Chancellor Dr. Adell Brown, Senator Elbert Guillory, Crossroads Church Student Ministries Director Beau Dore’ and Southern University Admissions Recruiter Dr. Robert Rene.

The students also received door prizes, were able to visit vendor displays and take pictures in a photo booth during the summit.

An article on the Back-to-School Summit appeared in the Acadiana Bureau of The Advocate Newspaper on Sept. 4. Click the following link to view the article, http://theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/13348899-123/rural-acadiana-eighth-graders-get

Lafayette TV news station KADN FOX 15 also posted a story on their website about the event at, http://www.cajunfirst.com/news/local-news/studnets-attend-back-to-school-summit.  


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