A Taft High School alumnus, and Dunning neighborhood native, Patrick is currently a rising senior at DePaul University where he studies Psychology with a concentration in Human Services.
At DePaul, Patrick is also a McNair Scholar, which is a program designed to help DePaul students develop their knowledge and skills and foster the commitment needed to pursue doctoral studies and a career of university-level teaching and research. McNair Scholars participate in faculty mentoring and network building with professors helping them to prepare for their time studying abroad and conducting research.
For the past two years and coming up on his third year, Patrick has been volunteering at Joplin Elementary School on the Southside of Chicago through a foundation named The Cities Mentor Project. Funded by the US Department of Education, the Cities Mentor Project is a research program dedicated to helping Chicago Public School’s students in underserved communities.
As a mentor, Patrick works one-on-one with students helping them through tutoring in subjects they may struggle in. Although tutoring can be considered a large part of the work, there is also a focus placed on the mental health of students. Sharing circles and journaling are just a few of the activities students participate in through the mentorship program. Students also learn to become advocates for themselves through creating projects that uplift the voices of people in marginalized communities. Advocacy work can be a big responsibility, which is why the mentorship program provides avenues for their students to have fun through hosting events such as roller skating, marathons, and other things students show interest in.
Patrick told us that his experience volunteering with the Cities Mentor Project has only reinforced his belief that there is work to be done regarding Chicago’s problem with education inequality in the public school system. Working with the Cities Mentor Project, which was designed to work toward eliminating education inequality in Chicago, has taught him to have an open heart and mind when connecting with children, and to listen to them. He says that he loves children because “They don’t filter what they have to say. They speak from their heart, and their opinions, perspectives, and ideas should be honored and respected.”
Post-graduation, Patrick is looking forward to applying to doctorate programs in Psychology. Long-term, he hopes to become a psychologist and open a healing center where people will be able to realign with their purpose and passion for life.
As someone who works to inspire young students, we were curious as to what music inspires him and we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack is his go to.
We at the Wentcher Foundation are so proud of Patrick for paying it forward, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on the last year of his undergraduate education!