Volunteer gives back by encouraging youths to prepare for college

By Cassandra Spratling

Detroit Free Pres

Published: Sunday, Feb. 5 2012 11:02 p.m. MST

"He's up here so much, it's almost like he's on staff," said principal Aaron Williams. "He mentors our young people, helps them with college applications. He has even attended our parent-teacher conferences. He has a tremendous heart for young people. He and I share the same passion for helping young men, in particular. We know that keeping them on track in terms of getting an education can take them away from a life of crime. There's an unspoken culture that says all we do is rob, steal and kill. We know that's not true."

The youngsters he works with expressed appreciation during a meeting at which he measured them for dress shirts and gave away coats and ties donated by members of his fraternity.

Aaaqi Peterson, 18, a senior, plans to go to North Carolina Central, just as Lewis did.

"His whole speech moves me to try harder and go farther," said Peterson, who wants to study business and music.

Emmanuel Whitley, 16, a junior, said Lewis built up his self-confidence.

"I didn't believe in myself," Whitley said. "Now I work harder in school, and I want to be a computer engineer."

Khari Greene, 17, also a senior, said the men can relate to Lewis because his background is similar to theirs. "It's just good for a man who doesn't even know us to start talking to us and saying he'll help us get to where we want to be."

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