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Aggie Tradition Of Service

Stephanie Cannon '06 February 11, 2013 10:21 AM

There are hundreds of stories of how The Association of Former Students makes a difference in Aggieland. This is one of them. Through the generous support of former students and friends of Texas A&M, The Association funds former student programs and services, scholarships and financial aid, faculty enrichment programs, and student activities--like Supplemental Instruction (SI). SI is a "high impact academic assistance program designed to improve the student’s academic performance and increase retention."

When you give to The Association, you are combining your gift with the power of tens of thousands of donors worldwide. The Aggie Network comes together each year to make a difference for Texas A&M.

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When asked how it all started, Demerius Seals ’13 thinks for a moment and then smiles.

It was an email. Three years ago he got an email. It wasn’t a profound note, so he’s kind of surprised at the permanency of its memory.  But, it was the start of something great.

His history professor wrote to ask Seals to consider leading a high-impact academic study course called Supplemental Instruction, or SI. The basic idea behind SI is this: Put a student who previously mastered a course with a group of students who want help and watch the learning happen. Funded in part by The Association of Former Students and organized by A&M’s Peer Academic Services, SIs are free of charge for students.

“Would you be interested in being a SI leader?” the professor wanted to know.

Seals had long been recognizable more for his spirit of service than anything else, so his answer—an enthusiastic yes—didn’t surprise anyone.

In the three years since he joined the team, he has led hundreds of hours of instruction. Failing grades have turned to passing ones. Numerous students have learned how to really learn rather than cram and forget.

He’s come up with games and rhymes and memory tools.

He’s mentored, and blazed a trail that other students have followed.

He’s introduced students what he calls their “ah ha” moment when they comprehend what they’re studying.

He speaks in welcoming words like “we” and “us,” a reminder that he’s committed to the success of others.

His service, he said, is part of what makes him an Aggie.

With a mother who serves as a dynamic member of the Habitat for Humanity team, he was taught from the very beginning that helping others is of powerful importance. “So, I was taught to help others, but being an Aggie takes it to a whole new level,” he said. The propensity for selfless service was the second thing he noticed about Aggies, he said. The first thing he noticed was the friendliness of Aggieland. When he came to A&M for his New Student Conference, he couldn’t walk past another Ag without hearing “Howdy.”

But, by the time he started his first semester, he knew that Texas A&M was not like any other school.

Through the support of former students who donate through the Century Club, Seals has joined in the Aggie tradition of caring for his fellow Aggie.


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