Lakeland team steps toward victory, life successes

By Rick Elmhorst, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Lakeland step team has won several national competitions and it keeps its members motivated to succeed in life.

  • Lakeland step team Taken By Suprise helps young people
  • Team members must attend mentoring program
  • The team is winning awards, doing well in school

The “Taken by Surprise” team practices Wednesday evenings at Sleepy Hill Middle School. To be a part of the team, the 30 members have to attend a mentoring program before practice.

PE teacher Corey Tumer started the step team and the “Made Mentors” program.  He was part of a step team while a basketball player Florida Southern College. There are about a half dozen women who act as mentors to the step team members.

Tumer said he was motivated to help young people because a teacher took a special interest in helping him when he was a middle school student. Her name is Sharon Griggs.

“But when you meet someone like her that give you all their time, helps you out financially, helps you out with school and just wants to see you be a better person,” said Tumer. “It means the world."

The mentoring program promotes excellence in education. Many of the girls who are part of the step team take college classes while in high school. High school senior Shakia London will have a college associates degree when she graduates from high school.

London has been part of Made Mentors for several years and the mentors have had a real impact on her life. "They are here to help you and encourage you to do better because they know what potential you have.”