Swartz Creek Middle School

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Reaching Higher

 What is Reaching Higher?
Reaching Higher is a student leadership program within our school.  Two to three times per year, students are selected to be a part of this 8 week program.  In each session, over the course of the 8 weeks, students are given practical strategies that: foster positive life choices, encourage a willingness to use their unique characteristics and qualities for the greater community, establishes goal setting, challenges them to get out of their comfort zone to attain those goals, and supports them in rising above their fears to become the best version of themselves as possible.
Each session incorporates whole group teaching, small group mentoring, and team building.  Adult mentors are paired with each student for the 8 weeks.  Over the course of the 8 weeks, students learn that they are more alike than they are different and that it is our differences that make us stronger.  Together we possess the power to be a positive change now and in the future.
What do SCMS folks have to say about Reaching Higher?
"This course has changed my life both in the way I view other people and myself and the way I feel about myself.  Before this, I was living a life of regret.  The sun in the sky of my life was fading leaving me in a cold, dark, lifeless spot.  This course has helped me let of go of some of that.  Without Reaching Higher I don't know where I would be...I needed to do this for myself...This has taught me so much.  I view the world, myself, society, and my life so much more positively.  I found my life purpose.  I believe that my life purpose is to improve the lives of others..."  E.S. 8th grade student
"I learned more about myself than I ever knew.  Looking at myself before Reaching Higher is heartbreaking.  I didn't understand that I was worth it and that it was okay to love yourself.  It was hard at first.  I wanted to deny everything.  I didn't want to believe what the mentors and everyone around me was saying. When I finally sat down and thought about everything I realized it was true.  Every word!  I was the only one holding myself back. It was eye-opening."  S.H. 8th grade student
"On the first Reaching Higher session the first thing I thought was 'This is just going to be one of those things where they tell us a bunch of stuff that's supposed to help us for the future.'  I was right, but in the wrong way...  We've talked about many things from little to big things that occur in our lives.  I've gotten to know people better and make less assumptions.  I've learned to try new things and set goals for ourselves.  But most important thing to me was that we should always step out of our comfort zones...One thing for all of you to remember is that everyone has a story."  D.B.  8th grade student
"Your care and dedication for improving the lives of our children is amazing!. I have served as a mentor and this time with the students is the highlight of my week.  I am always amazed at how the children open up and share their stories.  They are all so very brave and role models for their peers.  The mentors and leadership of the program is dedicated, transparent, and understands the needs of our youth. I truly enjoy being a part of the program each session that I am honored to participate."  Keshanda Jones, Mentor
"I never thought in a million years I would have a group of people, who not only accept me, but understand what my story is.  This group has not only shared happiness, we've shared rough times and emotions that sometimes we can't hold back...Prior to this group I never talked to some of these people.  Now, seeing that people go through some of the same things as me, not only do I view them differently, I appreciate what they've shared - what their story is...I have learned that I am worthy, I am a miracle, and that I'm perfect the way that I am...This group have forever affected my life."  O.F.  8th grade student
"This program is something that every student should be a part of.  In fact, many adults could benefit from the skills that these students are being taught.  Working in the mental health field, I see so much.  Thank you for allowing my child to be a part of this program.  This is truly amazing."  Parent of 8th grade student
"Thank you for being there for me and thank you for helping me be a better person and a better leader...When I first came into Reaching Higher I was not confident in myself at all but as the class went on you made me believe that I am strong and beautiful and loving and caring and many more things."  E.P. 8th grade student  
"I believe Reaching Higher is an inspiring program.  The sharing of students and adults is inspiring.  It causes us to reach a little deeper in many aspects of life.  People tend to forget why we are here and what we can do, where we are and where we have been.  We all have a role to play - help each other!  Thank you for letting me be a part."  L.A.,  Mentor
"Now that I have been in this class, I consider this class as a family more than friends.  I use to be really shy and I would keep to myself.  Since I was in this class, I have become less shy and I have been doing better and better in school because of the goals I have set for myself."  Z.U. 8th grade student
"As a result of my Reaching Higher experience, I have learned that I am enough and that I am powerful and strong.  I have learned to let go of things that are out of my control and to rid myself of my limiting beliefs.  This program has changed my life and has shown me that, with the right attitude, I can accomplish ANYTHING!"  J.E. Mentor/Teacher
Get Involved!
Interested in Volunteering or Mentoring...
If you are interested in mentoring at SCMS and being a part of our Reaching Higher program, please contact Jodie Morgan at jmorgan@swcrk.org or 810-591-1706
You may also get involved by accessing the link below.