Fifth and sixth grade students at La Vega Intermediate H.P. Miles Campus walked into school Feb. 20 and was greeted by well-dressed college students cheering them on with signs.
Students from Baylor and University of North Texas gave students an energetic welcome to school in an event called Empowering the Youth. It was composed of college students dressing in professional attire, cheering for students as they enter school and having a dance party after an inspirational speech given by Patrick Powers, the creator of this event. Powers, a senior at University of North Texas, designed this event to emphasize the importance of encouraging students so they will feel inspired to succeed in class.
“It’s ironic that you see a lot of people show support at sporting events for young students, but you don’t see that type of support in the classroom,” Powers said. “I want to bring that type of atmosphere and joy to students in the classroom as they prepare to be successful that day.”
This event is only one of many programs that fall under an organization called The Lost Generation. Powers was inspired to create this organization from his observations while working in classrooms during his study of education. He found that many life skills, career skills and professional skills are missing from curriculum. Powers tailors events around what is missing in the classroom so that students are more prepared to be successful. He came up with them name for the organization out of the constant criticism of today’s youth.
“As this generation grows up before our eyes, they have so much criticism, and they’re already being told that they’re being misguided,” Powers said. “I call it The Lost Generation so that we can restore that generation and guide them into the right direction.”
Powers also wanted the program to be beneficial to college students so they can use their talents collectively to uplift young students. Since he found that students are typically involved in three organizations on average, Powers designed events to allow college students who do not have a lot of spare time to be involved.
“The event allows them to do a great amount of work in a short amount of time,” Powers said.
Powers works with Retention Initiative Directive at University of North Texas, which conducts studies on the collegiate results of students by race. He found that African-Americans and Hispanics are consistently behind Caucasians in these areas. Powers hopes to change this statistic by targeting minorities that are growing up in single-parent households, lacking proper resources and being told what they cannot do.
“I want to change the tone throughout the Waco area to give them something to look up to and to let them know that, although you may be surrounded by negative things, there’s still hope and there’s still a chance, and if you believe in yourself you can be successful just like anyone else,” Powers said.
Powers said he hopes to bring a branch of the Lost Generation to Baylor because of its distinctive leaders and capability to bring change to the surrounding community. Students are excited about this opportunity and ready to do what they can to carry on Powers’ legacy.
“I felt like God was actually using Patrick as a stepping stone for something at Baylor because we have great leaders and people with potential who will continue to lead in what Patrick started,” said Houston junior Charlz Bisong Jr who participated in cheering on students.
Powers said the program is made for anyone who has a heart and wants to make a difference while showing the spirit and mentality of Baylor University. Anyone who is interested in this opportunity or wants more information about The Lost Generation can visit www.thelostgenerationtlg.com.
“The campus of Baylor University is made up of some of the best leaders,” Powers said. “If we can come together and merge as one, I just figured that those results will be effective for not only us, but our surrounding communities and the people that we serve.”