New School Year, Familiar Faces
This school year marks the fifth anniversary of launching the Pride program at Baker College Prep. The program model established at Baker in 2017 formed the basis for the Lion’s Pride Mentoring program implemented today. As student mentor training wraps up at Baker within the next month and full programming begins, we are excited to welcome back some familiar faces to the Lion’s Pride Program.
Abdoullaye Doucoure, former Big at Baker College Prep, returned to the Lion’s Pride Mentoring organization earlier this month. Abdoullaye will serve as the fall intern for the organization as he continues his studies at Western Illinois University, pursuing a degree in broadcasting production. When asked why he applied for the position, Abdoullaye stated, “I want to grow and experience behind the scenes work of nonprofits and build community bonds between people and resources.”
Brandon will be joining a group of 18 students serving as Bigs at Baker this school year and is one of five former mentees returning to the program as a mentor. This is the largest number of former mentees coming back to serve as mentors in a single school year since former mentees became eligible to serve as mentors.
Lions Pride Mentoring celebrated another former Little taking on a role within the organization last year when Zion McKinnie joined the Lion’s Pride Mentoring staff at The Noble Academy. In her profile earlier this year, Zion discussed how being in the program helped her to “develop an open mind” and “really helped with the transition in high school.”
Zion will continue to serve as a campus manager this year and is excited about learning trauma-informed practices and strategies for healing-centered engagement from our Lion’s Pride Mentoring program support team.
I would love for a former student to serve on our program support team or to take my job.
As Lion’s Pride Mentoring celebrates this five year anniversary at Baker with all the familiar faces returning, Co-founder and Executive Director Jasmine Gilstrap hopes to continue to see former students return to the organization.
“We are beginning the process of launching our Student Representative Council in the coming months,” said Gilstrap. “The goal will be to establish a way for student voices to live on our Board of Directors to encourage students to pursue board membership in the future. Long term, I would love for a former student to serve on our program support team or to take my job as Executive Director.”
With over 250 students served since the first program at Baker, the chances are great for continuing to have Lion’s Pride Mentoring students pay forward their learnings from the program in some capacity, helping others to reach their greatest potential just as they have.