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2 Cherry Tree Crossing boys accepted to A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet

Cherry Tree boys accepted to A.R. Johnson

Thursday, April 12, 2012 4:41 PM
Last updated Friday, April 13, 2012 2:21 AM
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Kobe Patterson is too young to drive or stay up past 8 p.m., but he’s old enough to know about survival.

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Kobe Patterson, 12, looks toward his mother, Carla Cleare, during Wednesday's ceremony. Kobe was accepted at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School for the next year.   ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Kobe Patterson, 12, looks toward his mother, Carla Cleare, during Wednesday's ceremony. Kobe was accepted at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School for the next year.

He knows to lie on his belly when he hears gunshots and to keep walking when men gather on his street corner to fight.

At his house, his single mother, Carla Cleare, says the place they live in Cherry Tree Crossing, one of Augusta’s most violent housing projects, is not a home but a steppingstone.

“It’s rough here, but this is not permanent for us,” she said. “We’re going to do better, so I talk to him about what you don’t do, and what he needs to do to get out – and that’s school.”

Cleare knows that a sure ticket to better things is education. She makes Kobe and his brother, Anfernee, work on homework every day, study for tests and keep from getting distracted by what’s outside their window.

Several families in Cherry Tree Crossing are taking a particular focus on education to steer their children away from the violence in their neighborhood and on to a better life. Two rising seventh-graders – Kobe, 12, and his friend Brandon Ivey, 11 – have been accepted at A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School despite the distractions beyond their control. They are sixth-graders at Collins K-8 School.

Augusta-based Men’s Awakening to God awarded Cleare and Brandon’s mother, Elline, plaques at a ceremony Wednesday in Cherry Tree to recognize them for keeping their sons on a positive path.

“We think that’s a big accomplishment for them to do that,” said Vernal Nelson, the director of Men’s Awakening to God. “We got guns out here in Cherry Tree, you have stabbings here in Cherry Tree, you have shootings. With all of that, these beautiful mothers here beat all the odds in helping their children focus.”

Violence is a regular occurrence in the project, where many families have school-age children. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was called to Cherry Tree 2,357 times in 2011, an average of six calls a day, for shootings, assaults, burglaries, drugs and other offenses.

Brandon said staying focused on school is hard, but his new opportunity at A.R. Johnson is motivation to maintain the A/B honor roll he has kept through the seventh grade.

“This is an opportunity to prepare him for college and better things in life,” Elline Ivey said of A.R. Johnson.

The youths were accepted based on Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests scores and grades and said they hope to use their A.R. Johnson education to continue to college. School system social worker Rochelle Brown, who works with parents in Cherry Tree weekly, says a common thread among successful children is supportive parents.

“Parents are the key to the success for all our communities,” Brown said.

District 1 Augusta Commissioner Matt Aitken, who attended the awards ceremony, said that it’s easy for children to go wayward when they don’t have fathers or safe neighborhoods but that the two mothers are an example of what’s possible.

“We can’t expect the law to do it all,” Aitken said. “The community has a place. Moms have a place. When we get all of the major things in their place, you’re going to see things happen.”

Comments (22) Add comment
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resident
470
Points
resident 04/12/12 - 04:59 pm
16
0
This is proof that parenting

This is proof that parenting is both the cause and solution to the youth of today's issues. I came from a low income house and I have done rather will for myself and my family. I have completed college twice and am about to start my third degree. I served 24 years in the military as well. My parents taught me that handouts are meant to help not be a source and nobody owes me anything I should earn what I get. I am teaching my children the same. I pay my taxes and expect government to do the right thing and vote accordingly TRUST ME I LET them know! This is wonderful news to hear parents can encourage and support their children to rise above the image that most are endorsng. Thank You to those parents and I wish their children well and if they need a mentor feel free I will help them succeed as much as possible with their minds and hard work.

BamaMan
2221
Points
BamaMan 04/12/12 - 05:00 pm
11
0
AWESOME! And congratulations

AWESOME! And congratulations to those parents who do the job God gave them, and that's to guide, be ever-present, nurture and be a good example of what discipline and hard work will do! A parent's job is NOT to be a friend, but be a PARENT. I don't even know you, but are very proud of you!

TrulyWorried
12305
Points
TrulyWorried 04/12/12 - 05:11 pm
12
0
Hats off to those two mothers

Hats off to those two mothers and congratulations to those two youngsters who are determined to live in a better world and are doing it right. God bless all of them and give them the strength to complete what they have started!

twolane
191
Points
twolane 04/12/12 - 05:18 pm
0
0
hats off for what doing what
Unpublished

hats off for what doing what you are supposed to do

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 04/12/12 - 06:09 pm
7
0
WONDERFUL!

WONDERFUL!

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 04/12/12 - 06:13 pm
8
0
This is what its all about!

This is what its all about! Im so proud of these children. Keep up the hard work, and it will pay off!

csraguy
2103
Points
csraguy 04/12/12 - 06:45 pm
6
0
Excellent Parents, 2 fine

Excellent Parents, 2 fine young men, great award. With the RC school system now graduating just over 50% of their HS students, every parent needs to be involved like this. We need school board members, the administration, principals and teachers fully involved as well. Our kids deserve a good opportunity to reach their dreams.

Just My Opinion
5293
Points
Just My Opinion 04/12/12 - 06:55 pm
10
0
What a great story! No

What a great story! No thought of race...or economic level...or criminal background......just praise and pride!! Good luck 2 those young men and here's hoping that you both make your families, and all of Augusta, proud one day! And please remember this: The world needs more good leaders and less followers! For our sake, please be good LEADERS!

David Hopper
46
Points
David Hopper 04/12/12 - 07:45 pm
5
0
My absolute congratulations

My absolute congratulations to you and your young men, Ms. Cleare! You know better than most what a hard fight you've been through. Keep it up, get your kids to college if at all possible! Hope to see him at New University in 6 years. They very well could be on of the first graduating classes of Augusta's very own broad curriculum research university.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 04/12/12 - 07:49 pm
4
0
I didn't come from the
Unpublished

I didn't come from the projects but AR Johnson was my new lease on life. No telling how I would've end up if I had attended my zoned school. When you're a kid and you don't have much guidance, peers rule. 100% of AR Johnson graduates are accepted into college and I don't know a one who turned out to be a bum. I hope they don't take it for granted and make it to graduation day!

TrulyWorried
12305
Points
TrulyWorried 04/12/12 - 08:38 pm
4
0
I want to believe that the

I want to believe that the whole community is behind these two fine boys - how could they fail us??? They won't!!! Their mothers won't let them either!

allhans
23292
Points
allhans 04/12/12 - 09:43 pm
3
0
More! More! Don't stop now.

More! More! Don't stop now. If they can do it so can others.
Is this is a great country or what.

wondersnevercease
9216
Points
wondersnevercease 04/12/12 - 10:36 pm
1
0
Great story!! Congrats to you
Unpublished

Great story!! Congrats to you Mrs. Cleare!!!!!

itsanotherday1
40416
Points
itsanotherday1 04/12/12 - 11:42 pm
2
0
What a heart warming story!

What a heart warming story! It clearly demonstrates that ones current circumstances don't dictate their future. No excuses, just get-er-done!!!

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 04/13/12 - 01:47 am
3
0
Good news. A story of

Good news. A story of survival for sure!

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 04/13/12 - 06:29 am
5
0
Congrats to these two young

Congrats to these two young men. Here is a great example of where a family made education a priority and set their expectations high for their children. May these parents and these young boys become a positive example for others. As much as I enjoy this story, I just wish we lived in a time when their success wasn't so uniquely newsworthy.

my.voice
4654
Points
my.voice 04/13/12 - 06:45 am
3
0
Standing ovation.......bravo,

Standing ovation.......bravo, bravo!

owensjef3
5635
Points
owensjef3 04/13/12 - 07:31 am
3
0
This is great
Unpublished

This is great

SAPCS
35
Points
SAPCS 04/13/12 - 09:18 am
4
0
Good job, Momma!

Good job, Momma!

502.5
0
Points
502.5 04/13/12 - 09:28 am
3
0
God bless these boys and

God bless these boys and their mamas! Hard work and dedication always pays off. Great examples for all of us! Thanks to the Chronicle for sharing this positive news.

hthompson
0
Points
hthompson 04/13/12 - 09:43 am
3
0
Living on Floyd St. (in

Living on Floyd St. (in Sunset Homes then) in the early 80's and attending Collins then Davidson Fine Arts to graduating from UGA, earning an MBA and now serving as a Major in the US Army, I see myself in these young men. I am confident if they stay focused and supported, despite their environment, they can achieve. I am proof that an education can change your environment significantly. Superb job by the mothers-- keep up the good work!

Dudeness
1543
Points
Dudeness 04/13/12 - 11:29 am
0
0
This is a good story for

This is a good story for those involved, but a sad one for society as a whole because we have now regressed to the point where good parenting makes the news. The mothers appear to be doing a fine job and I hope they all do well.

kiwiinamerica
924
Points
kiwiinamerica 04/13/12 - 11:30 am
0
0
Feel good story of the
Unpublished

Feel good story of the day............but I hope they can get the Sam Hill out of that project and find somewhere better to live.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 04/13/12 - 11:42 am
0
0
Amazing!!!! Awesome!!!!
Unpublished

Amazing!!!! Awesome!!!! WOW!!!!! You go girl! You go boys! Inspiring!!!!

janfmy9
15
Points
janfmy9 04/13/12 - 11:47 am
0
0
AWESOME! Keep up the good

AWESOME! Keep up the good work mothers! And very good work young men!

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 04/13/12 - 12:21 pm
2
0
Congratulations to those boys

Congratulations to those boys for their hard work, and congratulations to their mothers for being great parents. And it's so very nice to not see any bickering or negative comments on this article.

boomhauer
650
Points
boomhauer 04/13/12 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Proof that there is hope!
Unpublished

Proof that there is hope! Good job and congrats to the boys!

whyme
1464
Points
whyme 04/13/12 - 01:00 pm
3
0
I too commend these women for

I too commend these women for being an example to their community. I get the point of this being newsworthy: living in low-income housing as a single parent should not preclude your children from being the best that they can be. But how sad that it is news at all. Shouldn't that be the standard for any single parent-don't make excuses, be there for your kids, have goals and don't let anything keep you down? My parents couldn't afford to send me to college but between my scholarships, grants and school loans I went, earned a degree and got a job. At an older age I became pregnant and have raised my child with minimal backup from my child's father and with no relatives in this area. I have managed to be there for my child and made choices to ensure that my child gets the most out of a public school education. Consequently, we're looking at a 3.99 average in the top 5% of a class of 500. Lots of activities that I have attended and supported. I still don't have the frills that most Americans think they should have and yes, it would be nice to have the extra to make some much-needed home repairs on our small house but I'm not giving up or making excuses. Hopefully one day such a story will be the rule, not the exception, but in the meantime, keep up the great work, single parents everywhere that aren't letting things keep them down.

class1
299
Points
class1 04/15/12 - 08:12 am
0
0
Fantastic!

Fantastic!

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