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Knights of Valor

Julio Delgado and Joshua Ortiz

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We recently visited Christiansen Flemming, Rafael Aguirre, and William Podsakoff at a lunch meeting. We observed William Podsakoff as he spoke to his class about the values of respect. We also noticed that he had deep values of respect and was clear about how we should respect people in life. These are some of the questions we asked him and Alex, a senior student.

Q: We are here hoping to get an insight on what is going on here today with the Knights of Valor. How do you want to make a change?

A: “My biggest way is that I try to empower students to be successful, to teach them skills that they can use in high school [and] later in life. We can get students through high school, but what skills are we giving them now that they can use during their transition to college? We want to give seniors the skills they can use in college as freshmen because they are small fish in a pond. They need all the help they can get.”

Q: When I was observing you, I noticed that you have a really powerful voice and that you grabbed the attention of the entire room with your words. Do you think a lot of them were feeling a little down, leading them here to bring themselves up?

A: “Yes, but me being who I am and how I am, I’ve been in a lot of different presentations. If you have a presenter that is held back or reserved, you’re going to lose your audience. You have to take control; you’ve got to have students say ‘Okay, that’s awesome.’ But the thing is, though, is that high school experience or is it real life experience? So you have to get students in that situation if they’re in a college class with a strong professor.”

This is Alex’s side of the story and how he feels when he’s making a change in life.

Q: How do you feel about being here and helping to make a change in life?

A: “It’s a great opportunity to help other people who actually come in for their grades or to become better people. You can see how your other friends are doing and show them how to do it and how you can help them. So I really felt the connection because, you know, it’s like it really brings people together.”

Q: So what made you come here today?

A: “What made me come here today is because I’ve known coach Flemming for a long time, and I know he’s starting something actually serious and I have that respect for him. I’ve decided to actually try it out. The more I’ve started to do, I’ve actually become a better person myself.”

Q: So do you think that you will make a change?

A: “I know I’ve already made a change. I made my change last year. I’m a senior now, but I started in my junior year.”

Q: Do you think this is going to help anybody?

A: “Mr. Flemming and Mr. Podsakoff, you know, they really hold people accountable. So if you’re not going to change, then they are pretty much going to force you to change; so you don’t have a choice if you’re in this group.”

This concludes our interviews with Mr. Podsakoff, Mr. Flemming. Mr. Agurrie and the senior student Alex.

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