There was a wonderful story in the Chicago Tribune about Derrius Quarles. He grew up without either parent, but is a testimony to how resilient people can be. He set his mind upon his education and began at Morehouse this Fall.

During his Senior year in high school, Derrius was a participant in our RISE mentoring program, through which he interned at a dental office. Derrius also went on our college tour last year. Desmond Kemp, the Commons RISE Coordinator last year , is quoted in the Tribune article.
I have two key “take-aways” from this story.
1. People are resilient. No matter how bad things seem, all it takes is a dedicated focus on education. Derrius is a shining example, as his level of focus is something to behold.
2. The key to Chicago Commons success is talented and committed staff. In this case, it was Desmond Kemp who went the extra mile for Derrius. I continue to be inspired by the many Commons staff who are willing to do whatever it takes.
There is also a great letter to the editor on this story highlighting the importance of mentoring, such as the mentoring Demsond provides Derrius.