Morehouse College volunteers mentor CPS students of color on Chicago's South Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When most college students think of spring break, they think of a tropical getaway along sandy beaches. But for the sixth year in a row, a group of students from Morehouse College in Atlanta is giving back and serving the South Side of Chicago.

The Morehouse mentors were matched with their mentees at Chicago State University on Thursday.

"The reason why I started the Young Men of Color Conference was because, for me, growing up I didn't see brothers who look like me doing successful work," said Corey Hardiman, founder of the Morehouse group called Hope Dealers. "All we are here to do is to promote excellence of young men of color. If they can't see it, how can they become it?"

These spring breakers are focused on getting their CPS mentees ready for a career, helping them resolve conflicts and teaching new life skills.

"This event right here is for our survival. This event right here is so serious, not just mentoring and motivating, but more so listening to young black men, inspiring them to be better citizens," said Gregory Sain, CPS Director of Community Safety and Relations.

It seems to be paying off.

"A lot of people don't tell me this kind of stuff besides my momma and dad," said Kevin Bennett, a senior at Dunbar High School. "Hearing it from other people, I don't even know, is like real good motivation to me."

Jamille Thomas, another Dunbar senior, agrees.

"This experience has been a real eye opener for me," Thomas said. "There's more out there than just the streets. The sky's just the limit."

Organizers hope to see the summit grow in years to come.

"We're here because we can make a difference and we can show our young people that we love them and that we care," Sain said.
The mentorship continues Friday, this time at Northeastern Illinois University.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.