Future Leaders of Kalamazoo

  • Five female Medallion scholars sitting on chairs in the honors college lounge.
  • Honors student sitting at a table with two middle school girls.
  • Young woman and middle school student high fiving each other while seated at a table.
The Future Leaders of Kalamazoo is a group of 18 Medallion Scholars from Western Michigan University looking to make a lasting impact in the Kalamazoo community by providing consistent academic and social support at Milwood Magnet Middle School. Medallion Scholars work with their mentees one day per week through the Communities In Schools After School Program. The Medallion students began mentoring Milwood Middle School since their mentees began 6th grade in fall 2014 and have this to say:
  • At the end of the first year, the mentees were nearly inseparable from their mentors. A bond and trust has been formed that won't soon be broken! (Leslie Walcott)
  • We built a foundation of friendship and trust, then worked together to break down homework barriers. (Travis Culhane)
  • We have been able to build a steady relationship with our mentees. They started to complete their homework prior to when I was there, and when checked it was done fairly well. I saw one of my students step outside her comfort zone to try something she had never done before at one of our FLOK events. There was also an increase in confidence. (Kelly Brandon)
  • I think that the best way to describe what we accomplished with our mentees is friendship. Slowly we built up a lasting and meaningful friendship with the students. This is a friendship that I know will last for years after they complete middle school and high school. We have really bonded with them. It will be interesting to see how things progress as we complete the final year of the program. (Josh Ayerdi)

In May 2016, the 2013 Medallion Scholars received a Champs award from Communities In Schools for their highly successful project. It has been so successful that the 2016 Medallion Scholars have chosen to start a Future Leaders of Kalamazoo program at Linden Grove Middle School beginning in Fall 2017.

Check out the 2013 Scholars' video about the FLOK project.