Real Men Giving Real TimeĀ®
KINGS Summer 2016


The KINGS summer program is a 6-week series of academic studies and developmental opportunities that cover a wide variety of subject matter. In addition, diverse perspectives and potential career options are provided through field trips and guest speakers. This summer, the KINGS held the majority of their sessions at Belmont University and in addition, were welcomed on the campuses of Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.

The goal of the summer session is to help the young men retain and improve their academic skill levels through experiential activities that incorporate Math and English assignments. In addition, leadership and social skills are developed through leadership activities, subject matter expert discussions, and community service. It takes a strong commitment on the part of the students and their parents to dedicate six weeks out of their summer to the KINGS program. Being a KING requires a multi-year and yearlong responsibility that is rewarded with college scholarship support directly correlated to participation and attendance.

New academies were introduced this summer as The 100 seeks to broaden its program offerings to reach more and more students across Middle Tennessee. The first week offered a “Technology Coding Academy” hosted by Tennessee State University and members of the College of Engineering & Technology led by Dr. S. Keith Hargrove. The young men learned how to use a visual programming language called “Scratch” to create animated storyboards as just a stepping stone into more advanced computer programming.

Next up was the Entrepreneur Academy which featured lessons in entrepreneurship provided by Ms. Mary Carpenter of American Baptist College. In addition, the KINGS formed teams to research and brainstorm a new product idea and were instructed in financial and business planning by Mr. Jones Adukeh, adjunct professor at Volunteer State Community College. During the 2-1/2 week academy, other business and community leaders who volunteered their time to share their personal stories with the KINGS included Mr. Brian Tibbs, Mr. Henry Hicks, 100 Board member Mr. Darrel Freeman, 100 member Mr. Michael Carter, Ms. Krystal Bonner, and Mr. Gloster Current. A very special thank you for the support provided!

The academy concluded with a “Shark Tank Competition” in which the teams presented their business plans to “Shark” judges: 100 board member Mr. Melvin Malone, successful entrepreneur Ms. Krystal Bonner, and members of the Chi Boule fraternity Mr. Richard Manson and Mr. Charles Story. The competition was steep, but the winning team was “Pyratech” which designs holographic projection devices for cell phones.

A Health & Wellness Bootcamp was hosted by Vanderbilt University in association with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Athletics Department. The KINGS toured the campus, learned the admissions process, and were treated to lunch at the University Club with esteemed faculty members and university leaders. Vanderbilt student athletes led activities in sports and conditioning while providing insights into the importance of a strong academic focus in addition to athletics. The support of Vanderbilt University Vice Chancellors Dr. George Hill and Mr. David Williams made this partnership possible and one of the true highlights of the summer for the KINGS.

The Mock Trial Competition returned this summer led by 100 members Mr. James Tucker, Jr. and Mr. Melvin Malone. Supporting attorneys from Nashville served as coaches for the four teams. A special thank you to attorney coaches Ms. Alicia Cottrell, Ms. Andrea Perry, Ms. Ashonti Davis, Mr. Jimmy Strong, Mr. Junaid Odubeko, and 100 Vice-Chair Mr. Luther Wright, Jr. The teams tried a case involving a high school student who was suing his former school and a fellow student for inflicting emotional harm due to bullying. Local attorneys 100 member Mr. Isaac Conner and Mr. Kevin Townsel served as preliminary judges until the final competition which was held in the downtown Nashville courtroom of presiding Judge Russell Perkins. The hard-fought case came down to the final verdict giving the victory to the plaintiff team led by Ms. Andrea Perry and Mr. Luther Wright, Jr.

The KINGS partnership with the Tennessee Environmental Council led by CEO Dr. John McFadden continued with a trip to the Whites Creek area to clean up debris and fallen trees. On the final week of the KINGS summer, they took a trip to Percy Priest Lake for clean-up of one of the islands, followed by swimming and fishing. The KINGS learn about the environment and our natural resources in addition to giving back to the community.

 The KINGS also benefitted this summer with counselors from the Bridges to Belmont program and Vanderbilt student-athlete internship program. The Bridges to Belmont office was able to provide free lunches for the KINGS in the cafeteria so this was an incredible addition to the tremendous support provided by Belmont University. Thank you once again to all the staff, volunteers, and supporters for an amazing KINGS Summer!