The History Makers went “back to school” as the organization sent 400 members to schools across the U.S. to talk about their journey to success and give the teens inspiration and information to think about on Friday, Sept. 30.
The organization focusses on sharing the life stories of thousands of African Americans and this year, they sent Greg Mack of 94.7 the Wave radio station and Dr. Karen Hill Scott, creator of California’s largest non-profit child development agency, to King/Drew Magnet High School to talk with some of the students.
“The kids were able to connect with them. History Makers is great because they get an opportunity to see people who made history, live in action,” said Principal Reginald Brookens. “They get to hear their stories, ask them questions and interact with them in a way that wouldn’t be possible if they just read about them.”
Mack discussed his career as one of the pioneering radio hosts for West Coast hip-hop. The students were excited as he told them stories about what it was like when N.W.A. first came out, but also gained an understanding that a lot of work and long hours have to be put in to get and maintain a career. He also stressed the importance of education to the students.
Scott, who also teaches at UCLA, gave 10 tips for being successful in college. She told the students to introduce themselves to their professors and to try to stay out of the dorm room as much as possible. She also told the students to have pride in where they come from. She talked about how there will be students who are wealthy, but reminded the students that wealth doesn’t have to only be material and that they have richness in their life experiences that others don’t have.
“I feel like I come here and I can see the kids from where I came from really on track for greatness. It really is gratifying,” said Scott. “And I went to school not far from here, so I wanted them to know that it’s possible to do what you love and be successful at it.”
The event was set up as an assembly in the auditorium and went through four, one hour class periods with different students coming in each time. After hearing what the speakers had to say, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions and have one-on-one conversations with Mack and Scott.
“I love speaking to kids. They’re just so cool,” said Mack. “I was always over here in Compton when I was over at 1580 KDAY, so to be able to come and speak to the kids, I was like ‘yeah’. I’d much rather come here than any other area.”
King/Drew wasn’t the only high school in Los Angeles that received visits from some influential speakers. Susan Miller Dorsey High School and Crenshaw Senior High School were among the other schools in the area that participated in the History Makers Back to School event.
For more information on History Makers, visit www.thehistorymakers.com. King/Drew is also inviting prospective students who want to know more about the school to their informational tour dates on Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. and Nov 7 at 6 p.m. You can RSVP at www.kingdrew.net.