SHSU students are making a positive impact in the local community.
God’s Precious Cargo opened its doors in June 2015 in order to help students suffering from learning disabilities, those looking for extra guidance and extra encouragement and support that they need to be successful during the school year. Additionally, God’s Precious Cargo has been providing the youth of Huntsville with that much needed support and one-on-one attention over the summer months from the help of founder and owner Precious Hall and volunteers, many who are students at Sam Houston State University.
“My roommate had worked here and loved it and I decided to do it too,” said Allie Esposito, a mass communications major at SHSU. “A lot of people find out about volunteering here from others at Sam, it has become a tradition of sorts. Every tutor here goes to Sam...they’re great.
“We do a little bit of everything. I teach kindergarten through second grade and I accommodate each grade to what they’re working on or struggling with. We incorporate math, reading and writing. This place is special. It is so satisfying to help them and make a positive impact on their lives. I wouldn’t change it for the world, I look forward to seeing my students every day.”
The center is open to everyone and provides a variety of important services including private and group tutoring sessions, career counseling and mentoring program for high school students, an after school care program for students up to 12 years of age and a preschool program for children ages 3 to 5. There are also some students who are homeschooled at the center. Students also receive food from the center’s own kitchen.
“I mostly teach second grade, but I sometimes bounce around from working with students from six to twelve,” said Sierra Porter, a Psychology major at SHSU. “Most of the students have high goals for themselves and we want to help them in their education. The biggest joy to me is coming here and seeing how excited the kids get.”
The facility is divided up into different learning centers, geared toward specific subjects including history, math, arts and music, science and language. Along with the learning centers, Hall also uses real-life applications to help the students better learn the material.
“I try to talk to them and figure out who they are and what they want to be,” said Regan Bright. “Some of them may be a grade behind and I make sure they are all caught up on their homework and understand the material. We try to bring positive energy because many of them come from tough lives and need positivity in their lives. We focus on uplifting the heart.”
Registration fees for the center are on an income basis, and parents interested in signing up need to bring a recent pay stub when registering. The center receives food benefits, but does not receive federal subsidies. Some parents may pay only $30 a month.
“Everybody brings something to the table,” Hall added. “Many students have disabilities and having college students from different majors has helped many here. The students at the center love having college students here. Our business comes from word of mouth too. Parents seek out a place to accommodate students with disabilities and that is very important to us. My son has aspergers and has personally benefited from working with the kids. God put it on my heart to help the community.”