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When it Comes to Life's Ups & Downs, Romeoville Students Get it R.I.G.H.T.

Unique prrogram offers young men an opportunity "to talk about things they need to talk about," says Romeoville Dean/coach Bill Normand.

Harvey Jackson, a Romeoville High School grad and successful businessman, talks with members of Mr. R.I.G.H.T. Credit: Larry Randa/Valley View School District
Harvey Jackson, a Romeoville High School grad and successful businessman, talks with members of Mr. R.I.G.H.T. Credit: Larry Randa/Valley View School District
The following article was submitted by Valley View School District 365U:

Set your own goals and stick to them.

That was the message businessman and Romeoville High School graduate (Class of 1993) Harvey Jackson left with members of the RHS Mr. R.I.G.H.T (Really Intelligent Guys Hanging Together) organization just before the students headed home for winter break.

Jackson is one of several local adult males who are volunteering their time at least once a month to work with the relatively new group of RHS young men who get together at lunchtime twice a month.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to not only hang together but to also learn different things about life,” said Mr. R.I.G.H.T sponsor Bill Normand, an RHS grad who is now a Dean and coach at the school. “It’s a great environment for them to talk about things they need to talk about.”

“When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of mentoring going on,” Jackson said. “Sometimes you just need someone to look up to.”

Jackson usually is accompanied by retired NFL football player Oliver Gibson, both of whom understand the importance of “giving back” to today’s youth. When Jackson and Oliver don’t stop by, other speakers, including Marc Smith and Eugene Gatewood from Victory Cathedral Church, come in to discuss such things as male health, college and career preparation, careers, and general attitude.

“Life doesn’t go the same way for everyone. Some of you need to walk a new path,” Jackson told the group. “If you allow things to happen, it will push you over the edge.”

The Marine leaned heavily on his experiences in boot camp to drive his point home.

“When you get lazy, you don’t have the dedication you need to get to your goal,” he said. “And how can you get to your goal if you don’t know where you are going?

“Tell yourself what your goal is every single day because you will forget it if you don’t,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what people think of you. What’s important is getting to your destination.”

Jackson praised the members of Mr. R.I.G.H.T. for taking the time to get together.

“Don’t be scared to come together and talk about things together,” he urged.

Mr. R.I.G.H.T. was formed in the image of the highly successful R.I.G.H.T (Really Intelligent Girls Hanging Together) group which was initially founded at Bolingbrook High School and expanded into RHS several years ago when Yolanda Jordan became an assistant principal there.

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