Birmingham police teach the economics of success

Some children only see Birmingham police responding to calls of shots fired and other criminal activity. But Monday, Bush Middle School students had them in the classroom as teachers, role models and cheerleaders.

Eighteen{}Birmingham police officers reported for duty at Bush Middle School Monday morning.

"What they don't do right here affects what you do out there. The earlier we can get a handle on it, the better we can be," said Bush Middle School principal Dr. Emeka Nzeocha to the room full of officers.

With their instructions, Deputy Chief Irene Williams meet with{}her newest recruits- a seventh grade class filled with{}aspiring college graduates, doctors, police officers, designers, beauticians, and even a president.

"I{}want to change the world," said Miguel Page who wants to run for the nation's highest office after a career in teaching.

The Junior Achievement program's directions were seemingly simple.

"You need to get good study habits in place. To get these jobs and careers is going to require you to put in some effort," said Deputy Chief Williams.

A booklet with surveys and budget guidelines helped lay out the path from a dream to actual career.

"We want to let them know there's a lot of decisions along the way to get there. We want to chart a path to show them how to get there and it's attainable," said Williams.

Williams says decisions aren't just learned in the classroom or found in textbooks. They're also about who the students befriend.

"They{}can take you up or they can take you down, so you need to associate yourself with good people," she said using an elevator analogy.

The lesson considered action packed by students certainly accomplished its mission.

"We{}need motivation and people talk to us about how life can be and dealing with money," said Kristen Hale who dreams of becoming a beautician.

"College is going up 1100 dollars a year, so before I'm in 12th grade, I'm going to get a job and my own bank account," said Page.

The students say it leaves no excuse for failure.