Inside Towers

Meet Our Donors

Meet Our Students and Mentors

Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Board

Student Success

Mentor Feature: Elijah Petty

My name is Elijah Petty. I am in the 8th grade, and my mentor in Towers is Mr. Morris.


My Favorites:



The Call of the WIld


The Lion King (1994)

TV Show:

Raising Dion





Role Model:

I look up to Kobe because of his work ethic.

Favorite Academics

My favorite subject is Math.

Favorite Activities

Towers of Excellence and I play basketball after-school. I also like to go to different places.

What do you hope to get out of being a Tower this school year?

I hope to get a better understanding of career options and a better understanding of life .

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

My favorite thing this year has been the Sports and Entertainment Media program.

What is your favorite place you visited with Towers?

My favorite place we have visited has been Brooklyn Boulders to go rock climbing.

What is your favorite Be SMART core value?

Of the Be SMART core values, Being Authentic means the most to me. I say this because the meaning of this core value is to be yourself and I strive to achieve this on a daily basis.

How has being a Tower changed your academic career and your life?

Towers has helped change my academic career because it has taught me how to manage my time better.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself or about being a Tower?

I would say Towers changes me as a person all around. I can see it in my work ethic and how I handle situations.

Student Features: Jacqueline Freeman

My name is Jacqueline Freeman. I am currently an 8th grader and Ms. Russell is my mentor.


My Favorites:



To Kill a Mockingbird




Avengers: Endgame

TV Show:

KC Undercover





Role Model:

My role model is my big brother. He helps guide me.

Favorite Academics

My favorite subject is Social Studies because I learn about history and current events.

Favorite Activities

My favorite activities are basketball, orchestra and Towers of Excellence.

What do you hope to get out of being a Tower this school year?

What I hope to get out of being a Tower is a great understanding of business and the ways of media, and how to grow academically.

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

Two of my favorite things I have done in Towers this year is go to see the musical by Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton , and participate in the Sports and Entertainment Media program.

What is your favorite Be SMART core value?

Be Self-Aware is the core value that means the most to me, because sometimes I say things and I hurt people's feelings without knowing. This allows me to be more aware of my thoughts and words and understand how my words can impact others.

How has being a Tower changed your academic career and your life?

Towers has changed my academic career and life. I now feel I have more of a reason to get good grades in order to go to a good high school, college and obtain a good career.

Mentor Feature: Troy Morris

My name is Troy Morris. I am a 6th grade, 8th grade, and high school mentor.


My Favorites:



I love the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I love the way the many characters are developed throughout the book. It’s a really powerful story, especially for the time it was originally published.


The Goonies/Home Alone

Secret Favorite:

I could watch The Devil Wears Prada all day...


Black (Second Favorite: Blue)


Pizza, Chicken, Burgers

Where did you go to college?

Columbia College Chicago (Undergrad) & Valparaiso University (Grad)

How long have you been in the field of education?

I have worked in education for 9 years.

Do you have a role model? If so, who?

My role model is my father. He’s my blueprint, he is the greatest, most impressive man I have ever met.

What are your favorite activities outside of school?

I love to play video games and socialize with some of my best friends.

Why is being a mentor important to you?

I was blessed enough to have strong mentors and leaders in my life. Growing up, I became more and more aware of how that benefited me in life. I want to continue to play a role in the building up of positive productive citizens. I feel that mentorship is a great way to do that.

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

Some of my favorite experiences as a mentor include a lot of memories. I enjoy staying with the mentees from year to year, watching them grow in maturity. I appreciate the vulnerable moments shared over the years. I also enjoyed seeing them experience new things on field trips. It is fun as an adult to see joy and curiosity through the kids.

How has being a mentor changed your life?

Being a mentor and teacher contributes to giving me a sense of purpose. I feel fortunate that I have found a path that not only gives back, but I also sincerely enjoy. In learning about children I have also learned more about people. I believe that education and mentorship have provided me with skills that extend beyond the classroom, beyond mentorship.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself?

Being a Towers mentor gives me the opportunity to really engage with scholars on a more personal level. It is a great opportunity for us as mentors to learn about the kids, and for them to learn about us.

Ms. Russell's 8th Grade Girls

Camaya Adams-Cheeks, Anaya Blandin, Kianna Liggins, Jacquline Freeman

Mr. Morris's 8th Grade Boys

Terry Johnson, Elijah Petty, Wanye Williams

Mr. Tomasso's 7th Grade Boys

Geremy Johns, Ryan Mitchell, Jamarion Pettis, LaKendrik Bailey

Ms. Grangers 7th Grade Girls

DayVionna Randle, Akeelah Smith, Vonn Belk

Ms. Nikoo's Group

Zhane Riles, Kennyah Haynes, Brianna Daniel

Mr. Morris's Group 5th Grade Group

Khyle Brown (Two new students are joining in 2020)

Mrs. Walton's 5th Grade Girl's Group

Tamiyah Greene, Me'Yasia Embrey

Mr. Tomasso's 5th Grade Group

Ke'Vohn Dennis, Aaron Wyatt, Jeffrey Kibonge