Mentor group at Kenwood teaches college preparedness

Staff Writer

A group of high school students meet at Kenwood Academy High School every other Wednesday to get some hands-on mentoring for college preparedness.

Lamont Robinson is a mentor through the Kappa League Institute of Chicago Mentoring. He works with 80 male students, about 15 of those students live in Kenwood. The students, called the Kappa Leaguers, range from freshmen in high school to seniors getting ready to head off to college, and the purpose is to prepare them to get into college, stay through their undergraduate degree and graduate.

“The main goals are to make sure that our Kappa Leaguers will succeed not only in college, but in life,” Robinson said.

The group meets in the Little Theater at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., for about two hours during their mentoring sessions. Students are exposed to ACT prep, entrepreneurship skills, different careers with the help of guest speakers and even college tours.

Robinson said that during spring break this year, the group visited the University of Pennsylvania, Duke, Howard and the University of Virginia. He said the students were able to talk to University of Virginia student and Kenwood alum, Martese Johnson, who was a victim of police brutality on his college campus last year.

“It was good for the students to see how he is succeeding despite all of that,” Robinson said.

He said the Kappa Leaguers also get the opportunity to travel abroad to places like Tokyo, Costa Rica, Italy and Spain.

The students in the program must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Robinson said that with the mentors and tutors helping the students, 100 percent of them go on to college and 93 percent receive scholarships, including a Gates Millennium Scholar every year.

“We are not looking for a perfect student but a student we can mold and help get to that next level,” Robinson said.

“Robinson is an Allstate agent and was part of Allstate’s #ChicagoGivesBack campaign to celebrate National Volunteer Week April 10 through the 16.”