By Karla Davis
Adam Beauchamp is a well-known Community Assistant at Manhattan Center who can be seen in the morning helping students who have lost their ID cards, or merely greeting them as they walk through the door. I sat down with Adam to talk about his perspectives, goals, hobbies, etc.The following is a Q & A interview discussing in further detail who Adam is:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from Honduras, and moved to New York City when I was about eleven years old.
Q: What college did you attend?
A: I went to La Guardia for one year, and then I transferred to Touro College where, I got my associates degree in Social Studies.
Q: What are your interests?
A: Well, I train athletes; I’m a student coach.
Q: What high school did you go to?
A: I went to Manhattan Bible Academy.
Q: What do kids of today have that you did not have growing up?
A: Technology, and a little too much freedom. (Adam added that that kids nowadays seem to need more guidance.)
Q: How can you relate to the students at MCSM?
A: Well, I was in high school once, so I know what some of them go through. (He then expands on this statement by saying that he can also usually tell when students are lying, when they are cutting class, etc.)
Q: Are you in school right now? What are you studying? Why are you studying it? What do you hope to gain from it?
A: No. But I’m about to start next semester. I’m going to study occupational therapy assistance. I’m going to study that because it is something that I’m interested in, since I’m a strength coach. I hope to gain more experience and knowledge.
Q: Do you feel as if you provide positive energy to kids in the school, being that you are friendly with the majority of our students?
A: One thing is being friendly, and another is to discipline. So, I try to mix the two, and be fifty/fifty. (He also tells me that he tries his very best to provide positive ‘”vibes” to students in the school. When I ask Adam what he looks forward to most when he comes to school every day, he responds by saying that he looks forward to seeing the students each day, being able to to help them out, and hopefully to seeing them graduate.)
Q: What is something new you learn about students every day?
A: Oh My God. We have 1700 students in this school; I learn something new every day. So, every day to me is a learning experience.
Q: How do you balance being a friend and a dean to students at the same time?
A: It’s tough. Sometimes you don’t want to be too rough with the kids because you don’t know what they are facing at home. I feel as if this is one place where they can relax a little bit and be stress- free. But I manage.
Q: For those who tell you that they are in danger of failing a class, or of not graduating on time, how do you encourage them to focus and keep moving forward?
A: I usually know who those are. So I usually talk to them and reach out to the guidance counselors, and/or talk to them one on one. I encourage them to attend after-school tutoring, and basically try to push them into it.
(When I asked Adam what kinds of hobbies he liked to pursue outside of school, he wasn’t sure exactly how to respond, but ultimately he told me that he liked devoting free time to weightlifting.)
Q: What can you conclude about our generation?
A: They need a lot of guidance . . . help. I also think that more parents need to be involved in their lives. Also, more positive people in their lives.
Q: What are you doing after school today?
A: I have students in detention, and I’m going to help the baseball team work-out.
Towards the end of our interview I asked Mr. Beauchamp why he thinks the students trust him so much. He responded first by saying that he knows society itself stresses them out a lot. On top of that, he is also aware that many kids go through issues at home, which stress them out even further. Thus, he always hopes that his contagious positivity is the reason why students trust him so much.