Hilton Head, SC - Hilton Head High football fans are used to seeing him run up and down the sidelines passionately guiding his team to victory. Coach Tim Singleton and his Seahawks did a complete 180 after going 0-11 last season. But restoring hope in his team is just one side of the charismatic coach. On the other side is the executive director of "Strive to Excel", a program that's all about "turning around" the lives of young people.
"The last four years, if I had not had him," said Strive member Amie McCarty. "My life would be totally different."
"He does everything he can to make sure that we have everything we need to move to the next level," said Strive member Lawson Trehune.
"He basically hangs himself out on the limb for us," said Seahawks Linebacker Michael Heyward.
These are just a few testimonials of the students in the program, affectionately known as "strive." 7 years ago, singleton was given the charge to head up an enrichment program aimed at helping students with their self esteem, social skills and academic achievement.
"My mindset was we've got to start helping young kids go to college," said Tim Singleton. "We need to help them do some things other than getting out of high school and sticking around Hilton Head and Bluffton."
The program has taken off in recent years blossoming from 18 to more than 400 students, ranging from grades nine through twelve.
"We work with them on their self-confidence," said Singleton. "We work with them on their public speaking skills, on sat/act prep and on volunteering with their community."
Not to mention, local and national speakers coming in monthly and the students go on about 8 college tours a year. Strive to excel's track record boasts a 97 percent success rate of getting students into colleges. We are splitting hairs but that is better than his Seahawks 9-3 record this year.
"Once we have a young person and they come in with an attitude, or they are negative, or they have low self esteem and to watch them grow and watch them build upon the things we're giving them to become better young people," said Singleton. "It's just an amazing feeling."