Example Maker

5 Students Who are Example Makers

5 Students Who
LeRoy E. Gordon III

LeRoy E.
Gordon III

  • Mel Chua
  • Amanda Emery
  • LeRoy E. Gordon III
  • Erika Healy
  • Zach Umperovitch

Name: LeRoy E. Gordon III
Major: History
Year: Senior
Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana

A senior at Purdue, LeRoy finds the energy to keep going from the smiles that he brings. Mentoring kids of all ages, he believes being a patient listener is the secret to building trust and making a positive difference.

Commander Lee, the Tree

“I was a Royal Ranger as a kid, something very similar to Boy Scouts. Now, I mentor today’s young Royal Rangers from kindergarten to second grade. Working with these kids is an experience — imagine 10 kindergarteners running around calling you names like ‘Commander Lee, the Tree’ because I’m tall and it rhymes with Lee.”

Confidence builder

“Working as a summer camp counselor, the goal is to encourage kids to get out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves. They learn to communicate with each other through icebreakers and bond while participating in outdoor physical activities like high ropes and climbing. This instills confidence and helps them take the next step.”

Build trust

“One of the biggest roles of a mentor is to be there 100 percent for that person and show that you care. Mentoring requires one to be selfless and a good listener. Sometimes, these kids just need someone to talk to. It’s only when you are able to build trust that you can make a positive difference in the lives of these kids.”

Pay it forward

“My youth pastor was my mentor when I was growing up. He was always there for me and encouraged me like an older brother. In my work with Purdue Student Education Council’s (PSEC) Military Children Tutoring Project, I tutor a kid whose father is in the military. My goal is to be there for him like an older brother, just as my youth pastor was for me.”

Just smile

“I find energy in their smiles. Seeing a change in the kids and knowing that I have made an impact in their life keeps me going. Working with those who face family problems or are going through a tough time, makes me realize that my problems are insignificant, and I am more thankful for everything I have.”

By Atul Todi
Published February 2012