Ambassador News

Meet Our 2017 Ambassadors July 25, 2017 13:30

We are proud to introduce you to this year’s Ambassadors for The Few Initiative for Children. Our Ambassadors inspired us with their stories, their hopes and ambitions. We believe each of these young people will develop the leadership skills and vision to become positive role models and influential members of their communities.

Ciara Johnson graduated this spring from Marist High School, where she was a varsity tennis player, and will be attending the University of Illinois this fall as a Biology/Pre-Med major. Her parents are both police officers and an inspiration for diversity and justice. Religion is very important to Ciara who has attended Catholic schools since kindergarten. 

Jaylen Gatgewood will be a senior this fall at Perspective Charter High School. Jaylen, a DJ and producer, is inspired by music and technology and expresses himself by creating customized content on his Mac. He is motivated to succeed by his uncle and role model, who has steady job and takes care of others. Jaylen would like to go to college in California and has his eyes on Berkley.

Shakila Ferrell will be starting her senior year this fall at Chicago Bulls College Prep where she is co-captain of the school’s cheerleading squad. Shakila’s professional goals are to earn a medical degree to become an OB or plastic surgeon enabling her to take care of those who need help. She is determined to become a community member who does good amidst the troubling trend of mass incarceration and police brutality.  

Laurence Minter graduated from Kenwood Academy this spring and will be attending Cornell this fall. He is a Posse Scholar who has been awarded a four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarship from Posse’s partner institutions. Laurence is an honor society member, a boy scout and well-rounded athlete, playing golf, basketball and volleyball.

DeJanae Phillips will be beginning her junior year at Holy Trinity High School in Wicker Park this fall. She lives in Humbolt Park and would like to be a role model for pursuing higher education in her community. DeJanae has a passion for singing and loves reading and learning about history. Her educational interests are psychology and art.

Cherelle Taylor graduated from the University of Chicago Charter School this spring and will be attending St. John’s College in Minnesota this fall. She will be the first member of her family to attend college! Cherelle comes from a large family. She is the oldest of 10 children and also has several half siblings. She is motivated to succeed and envisions a future of less gun violence, segregation and incarceration that she sees in her community.


Spotlight on DeShaun Blake 2015 Ambassador July 25, 2017 13:17

My name is DeShaun C. Blake. I am a Freshman Business Administration major, with a concentration in Accounting at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. I joined the Few Initiative Ambassadors in the Spring of 2016, during my senior year at Kenwood Academy. I joined the program through Common Ground Foundation, when Dr. Julius Few came with this amazing idea, to find a way to help us make our generation better. Dr. Few always said to us, “I want this to come from you all, plan it and I will support you”. This program inspired me so much, I have blossomed in this past year and taken on so much more leadership at school and in the community. In the upcoming academic year, I will hold the following positions: Secretary of Institutional advancement of the 86th Student Government Association, Chief of Staff of the Sophomore Class Council, Chairman of First year experience and Intern to the Dean of the College, and Librarian/Leader of new member class for the Morehouse College Glee Club. Finally, as much as I love working with children and securing the future, I was inspired to begin my own program in Atlanta. The Few Initiative instilled in me a passion, to give youth behind me the resources they need to become successful and instill in them the importance of reaching back and paying it forward. I can now say I am the President and Founder of the Dreamers and Builders Youth Ambassadors Program. Our mission is to provide a fun and creative environment for all youth to grow, learn, teach and advocate for their generations, while preparing for their next steps in life. I call this elevation to the next level. I teach my students to not just be F.I.N.E., but to be G.O.O.D. We do not want them to Fail Immediately Never Emerging, we want them to Grab Opportunities Outside Dislike. I will be partnering with an elementary school and a High school in the west end community in Atlanta. This will run as an after-school program until I finish my undergraduate education and my hope is that we emerge into a non-for-profit organization upon graduation. I thank Dr. Few and all a part of the Few Initiative program for giving me hope and a voice, despite all I have been through.