We all have that one teacher in high school who always pushed us to be our best, who has a special place in our hearts even many years later. For the students involved in Phoebus High School’s Student Council Association, that teacher would be Ms. Coyners-Brinkley. Her students and friends call her Ms. CB, and she is the current faculty advisor for Phoebus SCA. The students explained that with the combined efforts of Community Knights’ Grant they received, along with the support of the amazing Ms. CB, they’ve been able to do some amazing things this school year.
Janeé, a Freshman at Phoebus High School and member of SCA, explained the importance of SCA to the school’s community. “SCA is the fabric of the school. We’re the backbone, the glue, because we pull the school together through our different backgrounds and associations. We’re not just run by a group of seniors or teachers, we try to be the voice of the students.” Student Ryan (a Junior) also explained the importance of SCA not just for students, but for teachers, saying “SCA takes certain students and cultivates them into stronger people so they can reach out to students that teachers otherwise would never reach.” The students work to put on events for student/teacher enjoyment and educational purposes, as well as act as a voice for students in meetings with higher-ups in the school district. Some of these events include the Tolerance Carnival, which paired students and teachers alongside Special Education students during a carnival, showing that those in the Sped programs are no different than any other Phoebus Phantom!
They’ve also used their grant money to buy shirts that they can represent themselves in as they start touring colleges, traveling, and further representing Phoebus. Student Ryan said that “-at first we were just a group of kids. Now, we’re official.” In fact, Phoebus SCA took a trip recently to visit five HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) outside of Virginia! The idea was to allow students who otherwise did not think out-of-state schools were an option to be exposed to new environments, perhaps more challenging environments, across the East Coast. Ms. CB, who flawlessly coordinated the trip, opened it up to all the high schools in the Hampton area so any student who wanted the opportunity could take it.
Student Ryan discussed how he never would’ve imagined himself going to an all-boys school, or a more prestigious institution until after this trip they took. “The cool part about this trip is when we went to these fancy schools, we were escorted by Phoebus alumni. Some people even remembered them graduating. It showed us that anything is obtainable if you work for it. Now I have a new favorite college I’m looking into, Morehouse. I never would’ve considered going to an all-boys school until the tour. I love their values and their dedication to building better men. That just blew my mind. I definitely would’ve kept myself in the area before this trip, but now I’m seriously considering colleges a lot further out.” After this trip, students felt more excited about their futures and felt they had a better understanding of what they wanted from their college experiences.
Until it’s time for them to turn the tassel at their own graduation, the students of SCA will be working towards a brighter tomorrow through Phoebus High School. At Community Knights, we encourage and support the betterment of our local schools. Phoebus SCA has made an incredibly positive impact on the social and academic lives of hundreds of students, and even at the end of the school year they seem even more invested in the organization than when they first arrived. These kids are the future, and the future is very bright.