Trey Baker walked down the halls of his old high school like the conquering hero. Teachers and students called out his name, waved, or stopped for a quick hug.
The Class of ‘21 Mundelein High School graduate returned Dec. 15 not just to visit old friends and teachers, but to advance a program very near and dear to his heart: mentoring young men of color and helping them find pathways to opportunity.
His visit - and his mission - caught the attention of the news media. Both ABC-7 and NBC-5 camera crews were on hand at MHS to interview him and record his visit. He was featured on the news that evening.
"The reason I’m here is to be able to give back to the students and what the school gave me. This is where my roots are. This is where I was able to cultivate my purpose and cultivate my passion for change," Trey said. “I’m excited to still be a part of the fabric of this high school and where we left off my senior year.”
The freshman at Maryville University in St. Louis met with school administrators to propose a forum at MHS where young men of color could share their thoughts and ideas on equity and opportunity. This falls right in line with School District 120’s long-range equity plan to ensure the district is serving all of its students’ needs.
Trey also met with some former classmates he had mentored in the past to find out how they were doing and how things were progressing at the school.
The effort toward equity and opportunity is nothing new to Trey. He was involved in the same things before he graduated. As a high school senior, he was president of the Black Student Union and provided valuable input to the District 120 School Board before it adopted its policy on Racial and Education Equity last April.
“Trey’s been great at developing that model for us. He’s been a leader for us in many ways to be able to make that happen,” Superintendent Kevin Myers said.
Staff members and students who missed greeting Trey in the hallway need not worry. It won’t be his last visit to his alma mater. As an alumnus, he hopes to see that effort through to the benefit of future generations at Mundelein High School and beyond.