By Raylyn Bowers
Motivation, encouragement and help achieving your dreams are the goals of the Finishers, a student movement at Amarillo College. The movement began in January 2011 with English Professor Dr. Mike Bellah and four students and is dedicated to helping students reach their life dreams by reaching their academic dreams.
This summer, the Finishers took a trip to Santa Fe, N.M.. The trip was a bonding experience for students and faculty. One of the events scheduled was a mountain climb.
“Students and faculty are taken out of their comfort zones when they climb mountain trails,” Dr. Claudie Biggers, an associate professor in biological sciences, wrote in an email. “It is very similar to completing a semester of college. Faculty and students work together to get everyone to the top.
“Student travel and spending time doing new things fosters the process of relationship building where both faculty and students become transparent. The transparency gives students the confidence to share their struggles so others can help find a way to support them.”
The trip offered students and faculty a chance to discuss obstacles in life that potentially could hold them back. Afternoons and evenings were packed with events such as a scavenger hunt, games and dinners.
“This trip was an extended time to get together and talk about completing school, how to stay motivated and help stay that way,” Bellah said.
Bellah discussed the group and the students involved in it with pride.
“I wish I could inspire them half as much as they inspire me,” he said. “They have overcome major obstacles.”
This past summer, past, present and future members attended a Finishers reunion.
“We had just as many past members as present and future members attend,” Biggers said. “This is encouraging because it symbolizes that the movement meets the needs of the students. Many of our past members have laid the groundwork for a similar movement at WT because they have realized that their dreams do not stop at AC and they need support to go further.”
The group meets at Hoffbrau steakhouse at 1:30 p.m. on the last Friday of the month for free appetizers, non-alcoholic beverages and live music. During each meeting, one or two of the members of the group share their personal stories.
Meetings are open for any student interested in joining.
To connect on Facebook, click here. Finishers is an open group page, and any student is welcome to “like” the page and get involved.