Five times in the last decade Beecher High School in St. Morris has won the state championship in basketball. The rest of the time it was in the playoffs. The football team has its fair share of wins as well.
However, after the crowds roar on the home field dies down and the trophies are handed out the players return to a locker room that is hardly for champions.
The boys and girls locker rooms haven’t been updated in at least 40 years. The lockers are rusted and the ones in the girls locker room too small for their gym bags, leaving a fear of theft. Even if they were big enough, many can’t lock. Others require a crowbar to open. The faucets sometimes won’t come on and other times don’t cut off. A basic level of privacy can’t even be guaranteed because the stalls don’t have doors.
“The kids have done a great job taking care of what we have,” says Courtney Hawkins, athletic director at Beecher.
A casualty of the auto industry leaving nearby Flint, the school’s debt almost caused it to be closed.
Hope may soon arrive for Beecher.
The school is in the finals to win a chance to have its locker rooms renovated from HOLLMAN H.E.L.P.s. It’s a high school education program from Hollman Inc., which makes and designs lockers for professional and collegiate teams like the Chicago Bears, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Nationals, Auburn University, and Texas A&M University.
You can help Beecher get those new lockers by voting here. Voting ends Monday February 3. The winner will be announced February 7.
So far, Beecher has made it to the final five, with the last round of voting set to End on February 3, 2020.
It is of particular importance to Beecher because the school is also a safe space the kids, acting like a makeshift youth center. It is often open seven days a week, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
“We want to make the most caring, loving, and safe place we can,” says Hawkins.
The community and kids have not failed to return that favor. Since voting is unlimited, kids have voted every chance they can, even between classes. They have plastered the site all over their social media pages and told everyone they know to vote. They even get on teacher’s cases for not voting enough.
“The kids work hard,” says Hawkins.
The community connection does not stop at the school walls or even St. Morris’ boundaries. Other school districts have even had a rallying cry for Beecher.
Neighbor districts like Grand Blanc post announcements and reminders to their students to vote.
Of course, this outpouring of support didn’t slow down Beecher. Right up until the final hours they made announcements at sporting events and in the last five minutes of class (as long as there was no testing).
“This opportunity for our community to get to what our community deserves, but it’s not deserve, it’s a want,” says Hawkins.
Beecher is up against four other schools located in North Carolina, Texas and California.
Voting ends Monday February 3, 2020. The winner will be announced February 7.