It is fitting that my first blog entry on the redesigned MIMS Institute Fellows, Inc. website starts off about Devin, a freshman (Class of 2020) at my old high school, Sam Houston High in San Antonio. I asked him to point to a college he might want to attend. His finger landed on Yale University!
This is the weekend that I celebrate the 15th anniversary of seeing for the first time the picture that defines success for me.
Koinonia Martin was at a church on a November Saturday. The church was in ZIP code 33605, an urban ZIP code in East Tampa. She was in the downstairs fellowship room. I was in an upstairs meeting room, but as I glanced down, it appeared to me that she was "throwing starfish back in the ocean."
[Read the Starfish Story]
Eventually, I went downstairs and started a conversation with her. She said that her name means "Communion or Fellowship" in Greek. She graduated six months earlier, in May 2001, from Yale University. This alumna from the Headstart Program in Vero Beach, FL and Yale, was a counselor in the Financial Aid office of the University of Tampa. Her continued association with Princeton Review is what brought to the church that Saturday to share SAT tips with urban youth.
Who would be better than young graduates of amazing colleges to
Motivate Individual Minority Students
To Prepare for and Apply to
America's Top National Universities?
Our 15-year journey continues. We find ways to promote Academic Excellence in urban ZIP codes. Though, Koinonia is now an attorney in Boston, she visits Sam Houston High in San Antonio at least once a year. On her next visit, she will undoubtedly celebrate Devin's efforts to prepare for Yale.
Devin may look back at his high school career and realize that "hard work" helped get him into an amazing college. When he graduates, he and 29 other members of Sam Houston's Class of 2020 will help SAISD meet its goal of having 10% of the Class of 2020 attend Tier 1 Universities. This month, one of the "good books" on Devin's read list is the SAISD Student Parent Handbook. We will find out early next year what fruit results from his reading it!