The Future Child Advocates of Troy, or FCAT, is a group aimed at raising awareness for bullying and child neglect within the community by being a mentor to others.
The group has recently begun recruiting members, organizing its board and preparing for events on campus. It recently sent in its constitution to the Student Government Association and is now waiting to be recognized as an official club.
Kourtney Frye, a freshman history major from Monroeville and the founder/president of the club, explained what the group meant to her.
“Starting an organization like this is raising awareness,” Frye said.
“When we see a child who has been being abused, we’re upset, but the fact of the matter is, what will we do about it? We have to take action and take steps,” she said. “Even if we can’t totally eliminate it, we should inform the public about what’s going on because this is actually happening.”
She spoke of her childhood and how that influenced her decision to create the group.
“I have a huge family, nine brothers and sisters, and that’s my main reason for starting this group, because I love kids,” she said.
“When I was small, my mom used to write plays and skits for our church, and in one of the plays she said ‘children are our future and our tomorrow,’ ” Frye said. “So for me it means what will you do for your future when the well-being of your future is being jeopardized?”
When asked, students said they found the group interesting. Kennedy Johnson, a freshman undeclared major from Orlando, Florida, expressed her interest in the group.
“I have not heard about this group until now, but I think it’s really awesome that they are doing this, and I would love to be a part of it,” she said. “I had a pretty good childhood, and I hope that this group will help children to have a good childhood as well.”
Caitlin Shelton, a freshman chemistry major from Decatur, said that she was excited about the organization.
“I am interested in this group because I work with CTL, Crisis Text Line, and I think this group goes along with that,” Shelton said. “I feel like this group will help people on the campus because they will feel like they are impacting people around them.”
Emily Reiss, the career counselor, is FCAT’s faculty adviser. She explained what this meant to her and what she hopes to see from this group.
“My husband teaches fifth grade at Troy Elementary, and that has helped me see what kind of issues are out there and how relevant issues of child abuse, neglect and bullying are,” Reiss said. “Awareness needs to be raised so we can figure out how we can help children who are in those situations.”
“I really just hope that we can help Troy University, and also the city as a whole,” she said. “This happens all over the world, but when it hits home, that can make a bigger impact on people’s lives.”