BROWNSVILLE - Students at a Brownsville juvenile detention center are working to design their own school after many of them failed in traditional settings.

Motivational speaker Dr. Divine Pryor, of Medgar Evers College, helped kick off the assignment by offering words of encouragement to children at the Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center.

"School wasn't something my peers appreciated," Pryor said of his own struggles. "No matter how difficult it is or what the challenges are, I am determined to be successful," he told the youths.

About 80 children at the detention center, ages 10 to 15, have until Friday to come up with their "dream school." The school should include a mission statement, curriculum, classroom layouts, uniforms and more.

Officials said there's a possibility that students' ideas will be implemented at their regular school. The Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center, which is run by the city.

Despite their environment, many students said they have big plans to turn their life around. "10 years from now, I'd like to be a very rich civil engineer with my own business and possibly still studying in school," a student said.