Student Council members at Brewer Middle School recently got to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity, a “lunch and learn” with Greenwood’s Mayor at Howards on Main. When thinking about what characteristics we would like for our students to display not only at Brewer, but throughout the community, we produced two names that we felt served as great role models and exhibited these qualities. This field trip, a reward for the group’s Student Council nominations and hard work throughout the first nine weeks of school, was made possible by Greenwood natives Welborn Adams and Howard Corley.
Howard on Main’s provided the perfect backdrop for the students to, “lunch and learn.” Howard Corley coordinated efforts to not only provide an amazing space for students who were not familiar with the restaurant, but also prepared delicious food. Mayor Adams was eagerly waiting and greeted students as they arrived. He first began explaining the importance of leadership qualities, focusing on those assets necessary for the Mayoral position. Students then learned in what manner decisions are made regarding our community. Mayor Adams explained how it only takes one person to think of a way to better our community and bring it to the Mayor’s attention for change to happen. This theme of change was carried throughout his message as he reminded students they would be the future of towns like ours, the importance of voicing their opinions, and becoming change agents.
Following the Mayor’s address, students were provided the opportunity to ask questions. Some questions were thought provoking such as, “What was your hardest decision?” and, “Are there any upcoming changes to the education in Greenwood?” Other questions were the evidence of inquisitive middle school minds like, “When is Target coming?” and “Do you know any famous people?” One student immediately took the Mayor’s message to heart about change and explained, “Do you make decisions about Brewer’s football field? I have some suggestions.”
The Mayor’s response to one question even sparked a mini-field trip. When asked what Mayor Adams’s biggest accomplishment was in Greenwood, he cited the West Cambridge Park. He emphasized the importance of having spaces and activities for our community to enjoy. After learning this, we felt it relevant to let the students visit the park. In the drop of a dime, there were dress shoes being thrown off and shirt tails being pulled as our young professionals turned into fun loving “kids.” Students ran off the bus like they had never been outside before, eager to see the work of our special lunch guest.
As our students frequent the Guidance Office to make sense of the recent tragedies that have occurred in Greenwood, it was a relief to show these students that there are positives in our community. More important, the awareness and appreciation that other people care about our youth. Howard Corley did not hesitate to open his restaurant and feed 38 students during the hustle and bustle of rush hour. Mayor Welborn Adams took time during his busy day to sit down, eat, and educate. Even citizens stopping in for a quiet lunch simply smiled as middle school students excitedly squeezed by their tables to take pictures and make memories with the Mayor.
We took this experience back to Brewer Middle School on a larger scaled where it was emphasized that our youth are our future. Thanks to two Greenwood natives and community figures, Student Council members were truly able to lunch, and learn. One middle school student exclaimed, “This is the best day ever!” We can only hope that in the future one of these students, or maybe all, will say, “That day impacted my choice to become…”