As the old saying goes, “It takes one to know one”, or better yet – teach one. At least, that’s the approach taken by Pittsburgh-native Wesley Lyons, founder of the Pursuit Program.
“A lot of times underprivileged students can be hard to reach, especially if you can’t relate to them,” said Lyons
Originally fashioned in a mentor/mentee framework, The Pursuit Program has surpassed its earliest in-person format and transitioned into an online learning course in order to service the thousands of inner-city kids in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. The program is “designed to enhance the student’s educational experience, preparing them for academic success by developing their decision-making skills, improving their writing and communication in skills and keeping them engaged and invested in learning.” The program also stresses the importance of mastering life skills from managing finances to goal setting regardless of a student’s background or current situation.
An extension of the program, an online workbook by the same name leads students through various lessons and discussion questions centered around discipline, a willingness to learn, and more.
The Pursuit Program has impacted the lives of more than 100,000 students over the last seven years. It’s success can be attributed to the dedicated focus Lyons put forth to seeing growth in students.
After finishing his book “The Pursuit of Patience” in 2012, the former professional football player began booking speaking events at various educational institutions where he discovered a passion for the youth. Lyons, interested in working as a catalyst for change with younger generations, focused his efforts on children in underserved communities.
“I had a passion for helping young adults, especially ones that looked like me and came from the same type of impoverished area that I did on the outskirts of Pittsburgh,” said Lyons. “Working with these specific types of students and helping them grow as young adults, increased my passion for helping them become successful.”
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