Inside Towers

Meet the Students

Meet the Staff

Student Feature of the Month: Teniah McCoy

My name is Teniah McCoy. I am in the 8th grade, and have been with Towers of Excellence for since 2016. My mentor in Towers is Mary Nikoo.


My Favorites:



The Giver


Chris Brown


Summer Walker - I'm There


Step Up - All In

TV Show:






Role Model:

Marsai Martin (Actress in Blackish)

Favorite Academics


Favorite Activities


What is your hope for being a Tower this school year?

I hope to grow as a person mentally and prepare for High School.

What are a few favorite things you have done in the program?

Meeting new people in my school, and bowling and the Escape Room.

What is your favorite place you visited with Towers?

Google offices in downtown Chicago.

What is your favorite Be SMART core value?

Tenacious, I love to learn and build from up - and how to Sharpen the Saw. This is one of the most important values because it betters yourself as a person.

Why do you enjoy being a Tower?

Being a Tower has changed my academic career and life because I am keeping my head in the game and focused on what I want in life through the support of my mentors. Thank you for the opportunity, I love being here, I love furthering the new experiences over the past 3 years, and I am very appreciative of the things you have done for me.

Mentor Feature of the Month: Ms. Granger

My name is Angelica Yvonne Granger. I have been a mentor with Towers of Excellence for 4 years. I am currently mentoring 6th grade and HS student.


My Favorites:



The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I here for? By Rick Warren
Believe That You Can: It’s time to make it happen by Jentezen Franklin
Divorce Your Debt: A Spiritual Journey from S.E.L.F Debt to Deliverance by Terrence & Marlene Trimuel


Gospel Music is favorite genre both contemporary and traditional. It’s inspirational and uplifting.


The Best Man

TV Show:

Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor


Purple and Red


Plain hotdogs are my favorite!!!!!!! Better than steak.

Where did you go to college?

Chicago State University, Chicago, IL, Bachelor of Science in Education, Cum Laude and Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL, M.A in Curriculum and Education, Magna Cum Laude

How long have you been in the field of education?

I have been working with children for 19 years. Yes, 19 years! I was a Senior assistant at a daycare. However, I have been a certified teacher for 9 years.

Role Model:

My role model is my Uncle Terrence Trimuel. It’s his integrity, authenticity and humility that I admire the most and his willingness to serve.

What are your favorite activities outside of school?

My family is my world. I enjoy any and all activities with them, which includes bowling, traveling, laughing, playing dominoes and having thought provoking, life changing conversations.

Why is being a mentor important to you?

My purpose on Earth is to serve. Mentoring provides the opportunity to serve others and assist in leading them in the right direction. I had a great mentor and it made a major impact in my life. I not only mentor with Towers of Excellence, but also with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

What are the favorite things you have experienced as a TOEF mentor?

I enjoy all our trips because it provides an opportunity to have engaging nonacademic conversations. Additionally, I enjoy watching my mentees develop into independent thinkers, which leads to making positive decisions.

How has being a mentor changed your life?

Being a mentor creates more moments of reflection. Am I being the change that I wish to see within my mentees? It creates more room for improvement and patience for my mentees as they are developing as well.