Thursday, October 22, 2009

Student Spotlight: Charles Kilpatrick

Charles Kilpatrick is in his second year at Cabrini Connections. He was referred to our program by fellow student Savon Clark's mother, Shavonne Clark, who is an alumni of the Montgomery Ward tutoring program from which Cabrini Connections started. Before I can even finish asking Charles what he thinks of our program, he says, "I love it! ... I love bonding with my mentor [Mitch Holzrichter]. I can talk to him about anything. He makes sure that I stay on task, that I'm doing the right things, and that I keep positive."

Charles is a freshman at Muchin College Prep, a campus of Noble Street Charter School, located in downtown Chicago. So far he likes his new school, but with strict rules and rigorous coursework, it can be stressful at times. His favorite class is biology and he plays the snare drum in the marching band. In fact, if there's one thing you know about Charles, it's that he loves to drum. Before tutoring starts, he can almost always be found with drumsticks in hand, quietly practicing on his legs or in the air.

Charles plans to cultivate his talent by studying music in college. Right now he has his sights set on historically black universities such as Alabama State, Jackson State, Bethune-Cookman, and Clark Atlanta, but he has not ruled out Northwestern or University of Michigan, the alma maters of his mentor.

Ultimately, Charles dreams of starting a managing business. His company will teach people how to maximize profits, save, and invest. He also considers being a youth counselor or a bandleader because he likes to work with younger kids. It gives him a chance to pass along information to the next generation. Maybe one day he'll come back to Cabrini Connections as a mentor! He has a great role model for what a mentor can be. Charles says the best things Mitch did to develop their relationship were:
  • he discovered what we have in common
  • he shared what he had to go through to get to where he is today
  • he opened up to me which made me feel comfortable opening up to him
Those are all great tips. Thanks for sharing!

Charles currently lives in Parkside of Old Town with his mother, grandmother, and niece, and says, "everything's good." We're glad to hear that, Charles. You have a bright future! Keep working hard.

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