Over the years, I’ve mentored thousands of youth and young adults throughout the Austin community and the country. Recently, a group of high school seniors agreed to participate in our mentoring program “Bridging the Gap; Through the Arts, Sciences, Engineering & Technology.” Six of the students represented the Austin Business & Entrepreneurship Academy, (ABEA). Other students came from Corliss and Prosser High School.

The students were specially selected, to participate in various community service and learning opportunities. Their parents and guardians were invited to participate as well. On Earth Day, they connected with students from Marshall High School, Proviso East, Proviso West and other west suburban high school students. Through the support of Dr. Loverta Hurt and Dr. Alice Pennamon, they spent a day with us at Northeastern Illinois University for a college tour. 

We were able to sit in a lecture hall during one of their final sessions. Some of the university students met with us after the class as well. Throughout the day, we reconnected with some alumni from Austin. During lunch, the students were able to apply to attend the University. They were educated on the tools that they’d need to be accepted and complete college. They also had the opportunity to get some college related questions answered. 

According to one of the students, “It was a great experience!”  Another student stated, “This is the school that I would like to attend.”  

All of the students expressed an interest in furthering their education through higher learning. The students have made a commitment to continue to work our program and our Juneteenth Peace Walk. The program is going well. They’ve been communicating weekly with us through various technology tools and earned 10 community service learning hours.

We’re looking forward to the hope and the lights that our young people will display in the future. They have been empowered to pursue their college and career dreams. We’re excited to be a part of the process. 

This program is a part of P.A.C.A. (Parents And Children with Asthma). For more information, please leave a message at: 312- 391-4784.