College freshman returns to Mundelein High School to mentor students over winter break

Chicago Proud
MUNDELEIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A Mundelein man is making Chicago Proud by giving back to the high school that helped shape him by using his school break to help students dealing with high tension this year.

Trey Baker used to walk the halls of Mundelein High School as a student. And now, the 19-year-old college freshman, home on winter break, has returned to his alma mater to check in on students he mentored last year.

"This is where I was able to cultivate my purpose and cultivate my passion for change," he said.

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Baker said he found his voice as an activist after the killing of George Floyd. As he started his senior year, he was approached by the Obama Foundation to start a chapter of My Brother's Keeper Alliance at the school.

"Trey Baker brought that to us as an idea of a way to be able to reach out to our young men of color," Mundelein High School District 120 Supt. Kevin Myers said.

Baker said his focus was empowerment and mentorship.

"How do we build systems, how do we build community partners and stakeholders to be able to reimagine systems in our society to impact young men and boys of color," he explained.

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Outreach is needed more than ever with the pandemic.

"You guys have a role to play. And there are younger people looking up to you," Baker said, giving words of encouragement to two students he mentored last year - shaping them to also be leaders.

"I think everyone needs someone they can look up to," student Chris Martin said. "Someone who can push them to go their hardest."

"It's very inspiring to have somebody who graduated come back and help this community," student Jayden Gomez said.

To build on the mentorship program, the school will hold a forum in February where students of color can share their thoughts and ideas about how they can be better served by the district.
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