Out of a community where hardship and negativity seems to be the standard, rises the luminous Gentlemen's Club -- a club that is dedicated to building positive, young, black leaders.
East Saint Louis Senior High School has certainly had its share of renovations within the past couple of years.\As the high school and community embraces the beauty of the high-tech, renovated buildings and grounds, young men at East St. Louis High School who are a part of The Gentlemen's Club vow to establish and help create a renewed, positive environment at school and within the community -- starting with themselves.
The Gentlemen's Club's is a combination of a mentorship, afterschool club with a goal to demonstrate that there are positive young men at the high school who are doing positive things, through areas such as leadership, community service, appropriate attire, teamwork and motivational speaking.
On a mission to ensure all young men persevere through guidance, high expectations and standards, the Gentlemen's Club was formed by DeMarco Martin, a Positive Behavior Intervention Support coordinator, who is a 26-year veteran educator and long-time East St. Louis resident.
"I've worked many years in the school district and I'm optimistic that through proper encouragement and nurturing, the young men of East St. Louis High School can and will become tomorrow's leaders," Martin said. "We have guest speakers who come in and talk to the young men about how to be leaders.
"Our principal, Lelon Seaberry, has been very support of the club."
Student members of the Gentlemen's Club seek to uplift the school and community by being positive role models themselves. Often, teachers, staff and other students note the unsolicited generosity of members.
The Gentlemen's Club has participated in a plethora of school and community service projects, such as: contributing in the sports give-a-ways during spirit week; serving Thanksgiving dinner to less fortunate families at a local shelter; and regularly visiting elementary schools through a mentoring/enrichment program called "Real Men Read."
The Gentlemen's Club is one of many examples that there's positively something positive going on at East St. Louis High School.