AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - For the first of several community projects, students at Richard Milburn Academy spent their Earth Day today planting trees and redesigning the school's exterior.
The efforts, according to Director Derek Davis, are intended to showcase his students' work ethic to the community and highlight the social economical challenge many teens face locally.
"We are reaching a very high risk population of students that have a lot of things going on," Davis said. "We create a schedule and a program for them that fits their needs and brings attention to the social economical challenge. They can come here and get the education they need, yet take care of the other responsibilities and challenges they have in their lives."
Davis says he is battling this adversity by reaching out to the community and bringing people back to the school to work with the kids. For Earth Day, Lowe's Home Improvement joins the academy's students in beautifying the school. Amarillo College was also in attendance to talk about education after high school.
"Students have done all the work as far as digging for the tree," Davis said. "(Amarillo College) is here to talk to students about jobs specifically looking at wind energy jobs that are connected with Earth Day and conservation."
Earth Day gave the students at RMA an opportunity to promote conservation and start personal relationships with community members in Amarillo.
Student Caleb Pace said this was the first time he's seen an event involving multiple community members and students. He also said the school introduced new learning methods to him.
"We're doing distance learning now which is where we have teachers, most of them are located in Lubbock, and we do it through computers on Adobe Connect," Pace said. "It is different, but it works."
Davis adds the majority of the kids attending the school have overcome adversities no one else has.
"We talk about breaking cycles, and a lot of (students) have been wrapped up in vicious cycles they have no control over," Davis said. "So we talk to them about breaking that cycle, making positive choices and having a better life for themselves then what they came from."