POSTED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 1:03pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Students at Redemptorist Elementary School and High School got a chance to hang out with former WNBA super star and 4-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Leslie. Leslie was in town to tour the schools with the Louisiana Federation for Children as they promoted the Louisiana scholarship program and other educational choice options. Leslie told the kids it's not enough just to pick where you go to school students have to work hard and make good grades to give themselves their best chance in the future.
"Recognize that this is such an opportunity that to go after it. You can't just get the free choice and get to a great school and then under perform or get lazy. You have to see it as an advantage," Leslie explained.
She began her day talking to first and second graders touring their classroom and asking them questions about their love of learning. She says she first started looking at the issue of educational choice programs a few years ago.
"The area that we lived in was pretty much under performing we were ranked about 300 in all the public schools," Leslie described. "So, we picked up and we moved to a better neighborhood. But, I felt bad about all the kids who maybe couldn't afford to do that. "
Now leslie spends her time talking to students like the ones here in baton rouge about the ability to chose where you get to go to school.
"This is such a national issue," Leslie said. "So many kids in different areas whether they are underprivileged or minority may not have a voice to see that there is an opportunity to get better education. They deserve educational choice."
Later that morning, Leslie moved to a pep rally at Redemptorist High School. Leslie and leaders for the Louisiana Federation for Children tried to explain to students the value of a scholarship opportunity.
"I thought that they were given just the message that they have been blessed and they should take advantage of the opportunities they've been given," Ann Duplessis, President of Louisiana Federation for Children, said.
Leslie and LFC leaders wrapped up their tour at Thrive Charter School in Baton Rouge.