You have done a lot of work in the community, and on campus as a Kappa and a member of other organizations during undergrad. Why do you think it’s important to give back? I give back to the community in a large variety. Anywhere from toy drives, and food giveaways with my fraternity (Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.) to exposing the youth to uncommon sports, and serving hot meals at my local Boys and Girls Club. Also, I have done some substitute teaching, and mentoring and tutoring kids grades K-12th at the surrounding Cleveland Metropolitan Schools. In addition, I started my newly established non-profit, YOURWORLD365.
Do you think that this is something you see yourself doing long-term? I’m dedicated to what I do, which is serving my community, because I was somewhat of a lost child in my community.
Really? Guidance was given from those who had experience, but I always asked myself “how do I get to the next level, if I do not know anyone who is experienced or able to give me the attention, support, or information that is needed for me to get there?” Up until the last semester of my senior year of High School, I didn’t know where I was headed but I was determined to keep myself from being a statistic. Sports exposed me to college, but no one truly broke down what it was going to take for me to get there.
What’s the most important thing that you learned by going HBCU? Going to a historically black university was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Central State University taught me everything both professionally and personally, and there was plenty of helpful people on campus that took me under their wing to help me become a more effective student.
Do you think that your college experience helped you in any way to be a visible leader to the students you work with? Most definitely. I believe that my undergraduate experience has given me the ability to effectively communicate and relate to the youth that I work with each and every day. That’s what the youth want to see, someone who is not afraid to step out of “the box” or “keep it real,” but at the same time maintain composure and hold them accountable for their actions.
Talk about the daily challenges you face with your students. All of us have challenges, but in most cases dealing with emotions, feelings, and other internal or cognitive issues. For the youth, these are major factors, but they are also simply related to their childhood developmental stages of growth. These developmental stages is a process that all of us go through. And it involves learning and mastering skills like sitting, talking, processing, and over time periods these developmental milestones progress. But the biggest challenge that I face is the process of keeping their attention, and getting them to understand the importance of why I’m here.
Would you recommend volunteering for service to other grads and current students attending black colleges, or elsewhere for that matter? I highly recommend current students, and graduates to volunteer, especially throughout the low income community. During my undergraduate experience, I did plenty of service throughout the Dayton-Xenia area. Many of things can come from being active and involved, but nothing is better than being involved because you truly believe in giving back for the greater good.
Jeremiah Kimble is a Youth Advocate, Community Programmer, and entrepreneur based in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Columbus, Alumni Chapter by the way of the Delta Zeta Chapter at Central State University.