Kenwood hosts its first “Future Superstar Youth Summit”

Kris Harris, Westinghouse High School graduate and former student and basketball player at the University of Illinois Chicago, speaks during a “Super Star Youth Summit” at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Thursday, May 25. – Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

Kenwood Academy High School Athletic Director Charles Tabb award winning documentarian and Chicago basketball legend Arthur Agee, gathered together on Thursday, May 25, to host a “Future Superstar Youth Summit,” for 5th and 6th grade boys from Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School, 1330 E. 50th St. and Ella Flagg Young Elementary School, 1434 N. Parkside Ave.

During the event, which took place at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Tabb divided several motivational speakers, peer leaders and students into groups to discuss topics such as coping with negative peer pressure, the importance of making education a priority, and changes the students could make to help improve conditions in their communities.

Most of the peer group discussions were led by Kenwood’s “Men of Distinction” student organization. The organization provided entertainment for the students during break out sessions with dancing, singing, motivational speaking and real life testimonies that helped them overcome challenges as urban youth.

“These breakout sessions will allow students to express their thoughts on how they feel without feeling worried,” Charles Tabb said, emphasizing the importance of having a safe haven to teach conflict resolution. “We shoot free-throws, we shoot jump shots, but we don’t shoot people.”

Arthur Agee, Marshall High School graduate and one of two Chicago high school basketball players who were the subjects of the 1994 documentary film “Hoop Dreams,” speaks during a “Super Star Youth Summit” at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Thursday, May 25. – Marc Monaghan

After the sessions ended Agee, who is well known as the creator of the award winning documentary “Hoop Dreams,” spoke to over 80 youth in the school’s auditorium and shared the importance of hosting an event like this.

“The three main points I wanted to stress to our young people today is that all people are blessed with three qualities: first, a right mindset; second, a skill set; and third, a strong work ethic,” Agee said. “You add those qualities to your life and I guarantee you will be well off.”

To close out the event, Tabb and Agee led the students to the schoo cafeteria to enjoy pizza and encouraged students to give honest feedback on the summit.

For more information on the next “Future Superstar Youth Summit” visit