Early on a warm Saturday morning, the Harold Love building at TSU is inundated with African-American Middle and High School students. The students are there to register for a Summer ACT Prep class presented by In Full Motion.
In Full Motion, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides year round assistance to inner city/at risk youth in many areas, including ACT Prep.
Since 2006, In Full Motion, Inc. has played a pivotal and instrumental role in developing inner city youth to strive to be “champions for life.”
The organization was founded by Coach Maurice Fitzgerald and his wife Attorney Cynthia Fitzgerald. Coach Fitzgerald says that they saw far too many students drop out of high school and eventually choose a life of crime.
“Even a good portion of students that made it to graduation didn’t meet the minimum requirements to attend college,” he said. “The organization is committed to serving young inner city individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to advance their educational futures.”
Coach Fitzgerald has proven his knack for turning struggling football teams in to champions. He has taken that gift, and turned it inner city at risk students, turning them into champions.
“You can look at a football team and draw parallels to the life situation facing most of these kids. We had no history of success. We proved that you don’t have to follow, history, that you can make history, that you can make changes and do things that give you a chance for something better. Look at the background of some these kids. They’ve never had much of a foundation to build on, and they never had much hope that their lives were going to be different. If we can just help one, kid it’s worth our effort.
The Fitzgeralds’ mission inspires and army of volunteers who pass out bottled water and snacks as they help register, and organize the students.
“Our highly trained staff works with parents, students and supports their academic achievements. Each Saturday students are greeted with warmth and structure as they transition into prep sessions. We are very proud to have a staff that is dedicated to the organization and are a vital part of In Full Motion.”
“My wife and I started the program about 13 years ago and it is for you,” Coach Maurice Fitzgerald tells the kids.
“Greatness is expected out of you, not mediocre, not average, but greatness. We are going to have a good time, because you can have a good time and learn as well.
Fitzgerald convinces the students to invest in themselves and get up early on a Saturday. “While your friends are sleeping you are going to be going up and they are going to be plateaued and you are going to pass them up because you are putting the work in,” he says.
“Right now our middle school students are averaging an 18 on the ACT,” says Co-CEO and Executive Director Cynthia Fitzgerald. We have around 300 middle school kids here, and 300 plus in 9th-12th grade.”
In Full Motion recently received $250,000 in funding from the city, thanks in large part to the efforts of Councilman Scott Davis and the minority caucus.
“In Full Motion is the most impactful ACT Prep program in Nashville-especially for African-American children,” said Councilman Davis.
“I am happy for the small part we got to play in helping the organization.”
TSU generously opened up a few of its buildings to In Full Motion for the ACT Prep classes this Summer.
“We are so honored, excited and blessed to have this program on our campus,” said TSU Dean of Students Rev. Frank Stevenson. “We want all of you to know that we are partners in moving the needle to make sure students have the opportunity and tools to be prepared for college. “
Stevens went on to say that, “we know that this program has a history and a track record of success.”