Support helps a role model set a strong example
Kellyn Lewis (WCAS12) grew up in a neighborhood where higher education was not valued. High level, scholarly research weren’t common aspirations for young men like him.
Despite the surroundings that often challenged him, Lewis’s parents created
|an atmosphere promoting learning. Through their example he grew to embrace academic enrichment and earned scholarships that allowed him to pursue his educational goals.
Now a Northwestern University junior, Lewis wants to be a role model for others—and keep the giving tree growing.
“Gifts from Weinberg alumni have given me a chance to not just intellectually explore, but to discover ways I can make a difference in the world around me,” he said.
A native of Aurora, Colorado, Lewis has made the most of his college experience. A Mellon Mays fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Barnor Hesse, he is studying the implications of liberalism in colonial/imperialism discourse, and the entanglements and implications of both with an emphasis on critical race theory and racial formation.
“I am constantly challenged to investigate and discover beyond the classroom walls in the hopes of solving the problems of tomorrow from the lessons of our past,” he said.
Lewis is also a co-director of the Living Wage Campaign, where he manages the community organizing efforts of students, Northwestern employees and faculty members. Having side-stepped many of the land mines confronting youth in underserved areas, he wants to make a difference in the lives of others and “create a community for myself that was better than what I grew up with.”
Through financial aid awarded to him because of generous donations from Northwestern alumni—he was the recipient of the J.G. Nolan Scholarship in 2008—Lewis has been outfitted with the tools for success.
“Weinberg and Northwestern have allowed me to flourish beyond my expectations,” he said. “The continued generosity of alumni provides students like me with so many opportunities to get involved both in and out of the classroom.”