Heroes and Role Models

Heroes and Role Models
Dr. Phil finds out why family freeloaders are taking advantage of the ones they love.
Dr. Phil proudly introduces Andre Agassi, a celebrity who has dedicated much of his time to helping children. Agassi has opened a charter school for socio-economically challenged students in grades three through seven.


"My motivation is that because I can hit a little yellow tennis ball a certain way, these children are getting their dreams," Agassi says. "These children are the children that society has written off the most ... Education is really the way to make the greatest difference."
"Would you be comfortable being called a giver?" Dr. Phil asks the spotlight-shy Agassi.


"Definitely," he replies. "I feel like I made it a big priority in my life to try to add to somebody's day on any level."


Dr. Phil asks Agassi how he managed to sidestep the pitfalls of celebrity.


"I've always tried to learn from my successes and from my failures. You have to want to better yourself every day," he replies.


"Was there a time when you said, 'With celebrity comes responsibility'?" Dr. Phil asks.


"For me, it's not an additional responsibility, it's been about pushing myself to learn more about who it is I am so I could make a difference in someone's life," Agassi replies.

Dr. Phil asks Agassi about how concerned parents should be about their children idolizing athletes and celebrities.


"It's the reality of the world we live in," says Agassi. "As opposed to putting your hope on any one person, you need to put your inspiration and what you strive for in acts of kindness."


Agassi then tells Dr. Phil about his charter school. Agassi's school has 250 students and over 70 percent of the kids come from single-parent homes.


"The kids learn self-respect and start to believe in themselves," says Agassi.

Ricky and Zakiya are seventh graders who have been at Agassi Preparatory since it opened.


"Tell us about the school," Dr. Phil asks Ricky.


"Our school is really great and the teachers teach you better things and they help you with your homework and there are fewer kids in the classroom," says Ricky.


Twelve-year old Zakiya says, "The teachers have high expectations for us and they always want us to work hard and we work hard for eight hours a day. We're in school for two more hours than public school kids."


Zakiya's dad, Thomas, tells Dr. Phil how he feels about the school. "Both of these young students here are going to be remarkable due to the effective educational program that Andre has put in place. Everything Andre touches turns to gold and where my baby's at, she's going to turn to gold."


To find out how you can help, go to http://agassiprep.org or call 1-866-69-4KIDS1-866-69-4KIDS.