Photo Credit: Aaliyah Young

Patterson Paves the Way

January 28, 2019

High School is diverse when it comes to students, but has Antelope Valley High found one of the many to make a change? Mr. Patterson, a current teacher at AV High has brought the new idea of “Games in the Park”, the AAMI (African American Male Initiative) program for the past 10 years at AV High, and more. Not only has it changed people’s lives, but it shows what a true mentor is supposed to look like.

 

Mr.Patterson has been a teacher and mentor at Antelope Valley High School for the past 17 years. He has entered many student’s lives and certainly made a change. Although his main focus is on campus, he strives to push it further to the district- so other schools can benefit from his work. When Mr.Patterson first transferred to AV High he was told it was the worst school in the district, “I can’t be the best, I had to make a change to improve the students and staff”. He stuck by his word, it can be said that Patterson has paved the way for an uncountable amount of students.

 

“Games in the Park” was an unintentional event started and created by Mr. Patterson himself. Unintentional meaning, it started off as a game of dominos in the back of his classroom and transformed into an event everyone admires. Dominos is a game everyone enjoys, especially the African American community; so when the sight of the domino games appeared, Patterson had no other choice than opening it to everyone on the campus. The activity resulted into grade improvement, so his kids had an option to ask the principal to approve it. Of course, administration was astounded by the outcome and later managed to get the Superintendent to view the activity, which he too adored. They then changed it from “Dominos in the Park” to “Games in the Park”, not everyone knew how to play dominoes so it was a well thought out idea.

 

Patterson loves everything he does, and he does not ask for much. Mr. Patterson wishes he can make it a district-wide event, which he will enforce in his upcoming conference in San Jose. Patterson’s impact on the campus is drastic, when asked “How does it make you feel that you’re making a huge impact on the campus?”, he replied, “I love it. I am so thankful that an opportunity was given to impact the campus in a fun way”. The interactions between the students, staff, administration, and volunteers is significant. That feeling isn’t only towards his new event, he has also impacted the Black community with his amazing program, AAMI.

 

AAMI is a program that focuses on the success of young black men, getting them to dress out and focus academically. In the start it was certainly a challenge, but Patterson prevailed. His main focus was to prove the community wrong, that young black men aren’t prison bound, gangsters, thieves, and uneducated heathens. From the Black College Expo, numerous college campus visits, the annual Black Knowledge Bowl, etc- shows the youth that there is a future. Patterson breaks the stereotype. AAMI is not only a program for African American students, it is open to all races. Females aren’t left out either, the program AAFI is also at Antelope Valley High School led by female mentors.

 

Mr. Patterson has truly impacted the campus, in tremendous ways. Many students can rely on him, he has rarely let anyone down. “If you ain’t in the water, you can’t get wet,” is one of Patterson memorable lines.

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