Khai, Junior from McCluer High School


Our students are the heartbeat of Elevate St. Louis. They join us at different stages of life. Each one is unique, but they all share the same desire and potential to succeed. Sharing student stories is extremely important to us, and who better to share their stories than the students themselves? We invited them to contribute to a new Spotlight feature each month to share their first-hand experiences in Elevate St. Louis.

Khai is junior at McCluer High School with a big heart for people. He’s a forward on the varsity basketball team and a member of the school’s choir. You’d think it would be hard to miss seeing his six-foot-four frame in the hallways, but Khai has a knack for hiding in plain sight.

“I used to be the quiet kid in class and not share anything. Being in Elevate St. Louis is helping me become comfortable with sharing my ideas. My self-confidence started to improve when my Teacher-Mentors formed discussion groups in class. It was easier for me to share my thoughts that way. Then I started speaking in front of the whole class. Now I’m willing to accept leadership roles in other parts of my life that I didn’t want to accept in the past.

Another thing that helped my confidence was meeting business leaders who came each month to visit our class. I liked that they really wanted to get to know us and our goals. That made me feel important. Interacting with them helped me see myself in their roles. The connections I’m making now will help me after I graduate from college.

The two things I love about being in Elevate St, Louis are my Teacher-Mentors and Little Elevate. Mr. Charles and Miss Jen make class fun. They share lots of stories about their lives that I can relate to and they helped me get through some bad times. At first I was nervous about mentoring little kids but now I love it. I feel like I’m helping them get ready for future success.”