Athletes Learning Educational Resources Training (A.L.E.R.T.), founded in May of 1986, is based on a conceptual model wherein concerned citizens could help young students face reality and garner needed communication skills.
The concept for ALERT originated from the shared experiences of many former athletes and the constant media barrage on academically failing students who are not prepared academically to take full advantage of career and A.L.E.R.T.’s FIRST STUDENT college opportunities. The tutoring is one-on-one and is geared toward correcting academic deficiencies, upgrading academic performances, and giving students preparation for standardized tests. The counseling is both individualized and group, geared toward changing attitudes, perceptions, and values. Although numerous people are involved, the foundational basis of the organization is helping young students properly prepare themselves for the real world.
The need for programs like A.L.E.R.T. which addresses the basic skill needs of inner-city youths is well documented by standardized test results from schools throughout Michigan and the United States. Unfortunately, a lack of needed funding to underwrite the cost of tutoring and counseling is a major reason why so many students are unable to realize their higher education goals. According to many students and parents, additional challenges occur for students when they seek college admission and must complete applications. We are also mindful of many of the challenges that hinder students from completing career and college programs of study. Consequently, we take the “Holistic” approach in providing services to the students. Simply put, this means that we view the student as a “whole” person. While we recognize the importance of improving academic skills, we also realize that the student frequently experiences problems in other areas that impinge upon his or her academic performance.
We utilize one-on-one tutoring and counseling and group sessions as forums to address myriad issues. Experience with this practice has demonstrated the effectiveness of using this approach. By using this two-pronged remedy, we can address these obstacles by providing our services to deserving youth in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
When we began to dream of things that could be done to “give something back to the community,” A.L.E.R.T. envisioned an oasis for the many young people who were about to be lost in the drugs, violence and destruction that was sweeping across our cities. With all the negative events present in the inner city, the destruction of the young minds that represent our future seemed inevitable. The question was what would it take to end these negative elements? With all the resources available in our society today, few programs seemed to be effective. After examining what had been tried and what had not been tried, we reached some startling conclusions; simultaneously, we made some profound observations; there always seem to be a few students who survive almost unaffected. These are the young people who go on to realize success and make a major contribution to our society. What was it that had positively influenced this small group of young people but had not touched the masses? After our investigation and conversations with young people from all over the city, the answer was clear – education and guidance, our targets.