AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Donnie Carswell served in the military and had a career in as a probation officer for the Department of Juvenile Justice before he came to Glenn Hills High School. He knew he could do more to make a difference in young lives.

“I realized that I have a better chance of helping people become who they really are, here as a teacher,” Carswell says. “Because I have a chance to mold and give them things that they might not have had access to if they hadn’t met me.”

Mr. Carswell takes the approach that school is about much more than just getting a good education.

“I focus on building a bridge and building a connection first. And when I build that connection, hopefully that connection can lead to you wanting to learn something, you wanting to do more.”

And it works. Mr. Carswell’s kids want to learn all they can in his A.P. World History classes.

“The way you make History relevant is to understand that we are history. 20-years from now, 30-years from now, they’ll be using social media as history books. Everything we do, no matter how big or small, it affects everybody because we are all connected some kind of way. So I have them find the history and make it relevant by showing them how it connects to now.”

And once they make that kind of connection, these young men and women are ready to take on the real world. They are prepared for success because of the dedication and committment of Donnie Carswell.

“It used to be told to us, hey you get a job you get a family, you’ll be successful,” he says. “Mine’s a little different. I want you to find your purpose, what you were designed for, what you were built for. My thing is, I actually want them to commit to a vision, and be happy with what they do. And that way they won’t just be working a job, they’ll be working something that they feel like they were built for, they were made for.”